Poor Shooting Alters Spartans Plans
by Steven Stremming
photos by: Wayne Carter
Wow, just wow, is how you would describe the beat down Matt Painter’s Boilers put on Tom Izzo’s Michigan State’s Spartans at a Sold Out Mackey Arena that ended with a 71 to 42 victory.
As 14,804 fans witnessed the Boilers pounded the ball inside to Trevion Williams and he did not disappoint as he attacked the basket from point blank range to putting Spartans on their hips and driving to the hoop.
Williams for the game helped Purdue to a 30 to 22 advantage for the game in the paint.
Williams in over 26 minutes of floor time was seven of fourteen from the floor with seven boards and four assists, which tied Sasha Stefanovic.
Purdue’s defense was stifling, as the Boilers were patiently aggressive, which Nojel Eastern addressed at the post game press conference. When asked by this reporter, Eastern said, “we talked about it a lot, one of the main points, coach talks about being passive aggressive before every game”, in handling of first team Big Ten player Cassius Winston to just four of thirteen from the floor, including a zero of five from behind the arc. Much of that was the defensive pressure of sophomore Eric Hunter, Jr which produced nine turnovers for the senior guard.
Purdue shot 45.6% percent from the floor for the holding eighth ranked Spartans to 35.3% percent for the game that also recorded a 12.5% percent shooting from behind the arc.
One of Purdue’s highlights was the play of Evan Boudreaux who scored eleven points and was three of five behind the arc and three of seven from inside the arc. Boudreaux also recorded five boards.
Crown Point’s Sasha Stefanovic hit two big three’s as Michigan State cut a 19 point lead down to a 45 to 31 margin with 12:49 lead in the second half. The Spartans had three opportunities to cut the margin but a fierce Boiler defense held the Spartans off the board before Stefanovic hit a three from the right side to extend a lead that the Boilers would never relinquish.
For the game, Purdue’s Williams led the scoring with 16 followed by Boudreaux’s 11 with both Stefanovic and Hunter tallying ten a piece.
Emmanuel Dowuona, Tommy Luce, Jared Wubrun and Matt Frost finished up the game with Isaiah Thompson for the Boilers.
Purdue moves to 10 and 7 and 3 and 3 in the Big Ten while the Spartans fall to 13 and 4 and 5 and 1 in the Big Ten.