Michigan State rolls past Purdue 78-65
Spartans take sole possession of first place in Big Ten
No. 8 Michigan State 78, Purdue 65: Branden Dawson led the way with 20 points as the visiting Spartans picked up their third straight win.
Derrick Nix and Keith Appling added 17 points apiece for Michigan State (20-4, 9-2 Big Ten), which moved into sole possession of first place in the Big Ten, one-half game ahead of Indiana.
Terone Johnson scored 20 points and Ronnie Johnson added 15 and eight assists as the Boilermakers fell for the fourth time in the last six games. Purdue (12-12, 5-6) dropped both contests against the Spartans by a total of 36 points.
Michigan State used an 11-2 run in the first half to grab control and stretched it to as much as 31-18 before settling for a 31-23 lead at the break.
The Boilermakers were within 53-43 with 9:28 left when the Spartans began to put it away. Nix hit a pair of free throws and Appling buried a 3-pointer to start a run of 11 straight points as the Spartans stretched it back out.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Michigan State G Travis Trice (head injury) missed his second straight game. … Purdue, which entered the game shooting 30.4 percent from 3-point range, went 1-for-5 from beyond the arc against the Spartans. … Michigan State will put its winning streak on the line at No. 3 Michigan on Tuesday.
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