Cassius Winston pushed back.
The junior guard scored nine of his points late in the first half and finished with a game-high 23 as No. 6 Michigan State bullied by the Boilermakers for a 77-59 victory on Tuesday night at Breslin Center.
Nick Ward added 16 points and nine rebounds, and Xavier Tillman scored 11 points for the Spartans (14-2, 5-0 Big Ten).
Trevion Williams had 13 points and 12 rebounds for Purdue (9-6, 2-2) as the Spartans held Big Ten leading scorer Carsen Edwards to just 11 points.
MSU travels to Penn State this weekend for a Sunday game at Bryce Jordan Center.
The teams came out at an amped-up pace, and the Spartans struggled with the ball early.
MSU committed four turnovers in the first 3:28 of the game, and Purdue capitalized with five points off them to take a 9-2 lead.
But the Spartans settled in from there, committing just three more the rest of the half. They also got three steals and five blocks on the Boilermakers.
Matt McQuaid, who committed two early giveaways, hit a 3-pointer midway through the first half to give MSU its first lead. The Spartans then went on a 12-2 run in the final 4 minutes to go into the locker room ahead, 39-26.
Much of that late run came from Winston, who was being pushed and shoved and bumped and manhandled throughout the first 16 minutes and was scoreless.
However, the junior scored five straight points to spark a 10-0 run, powering his way through contact and hitting a pull-up 3-pointer and then left Nojel Eastern on his behind under the basket with a dribble-drive and layup.
Winston scored all nine of his first-half points in that final burst of the half, then buried a 3-pointer after halftime when Purdue posted the first five points to get back within eight.
The 6-foot junior hit another 3 off a Kenny Goins assist to give MSU its biggest lead, 50-36, before the Boilermakers began chipping away. Five straight points by Edwards, including a 3-pointer, cut the cushion to four points with a 12-2 run.
Then Winston did it again, first driving, getting fouled and splitting a pair of free throws. After an Aaron Henry layup over Edwards, Goins stripped Edwards and whipped the ball ahead to Winston. Winston zoomed in all alone, looking back for a charging Purdue defender as he laid the ball in the basket unscathed. MSU’s lead swelled back to nine, and Purdue coach Matt Painter called a timeout with things starting to get away from his Boilermakers again.
The Spartans put the game away with a 23-10 run after Purdue got within 52-48.
Winston finished 7-for-14 shooting, going 4 of 7 from 3-point range, and added five assists.
Goins finished with seven points, 11 rebounds and six assists.
Edwards, the Big Ten’s leading scorer, came in averaging 25.5 points a game and was the primary focus for MSU’s defense.
Coach Tom Izzo worried about missing Joshua Langford, who sat out his third straight game and still has a walking boot on his left foot. But the Spartans’ mix-and-match job on the 6-1 junior guard did the trick.
McQuaid and Henry predominantly drew the assignment and contested nearly every jumper and drive Edwards attempted. They held Edwards to just 3-for-16 shooting, including just 2 of 13 from 3-point range.