Former Michigan State commit Caleb Swanigan leads Purdue past Spartans
EAST LANSING — Caleb Swanigan was booed when he touched the ball and simply responded with a dominating performance.
Swanigan had 25 points and 17 rebounds, helping No. 20 Purdue pull away to beat Michigan State 84-73 on Tuesday night.
The sophomore standout was unpopular among the Spartans’ fans because he committed to play for Tom Izzo before changing his mind and deciding to be a Boilermaker.
“I was prepped for it,” Swanigan said.
And, coach Matt Painter was happy with how he handled it.
“He showed a lot of poise,” Painter said. “He showed a lot of maturity.”
The Boilermakers (17-4, 6-2 Big Ten) have won three straight, helping them have their best eight-game record in the conference since 2010-11.
The Spartans (12-9, 4-4) have lost three straight and four of five, forcing them to turn it around soon to improve their chances of playing in a 20th straight NCAA Tournament.
Michigan State’s Miles Bridges did his part with 33 points, breaking Scott Skiles’ freshman scoring record at the school. Skiles scored 32 against Ohio State on Feb. 24, 1983.
“It would’ve felt way better with a win,” Bridges said. “But I give my teammates all the credit for that. They set good screens and made good passes.”
Bridges was 12 of 17 from the field, making 5 of 8 3-point attempts and 4 of 6 free throws, in a game-high 36 minutes.
“I was in a zone,” he said. “The hoop looked like the ocean to me. I was just throwing a rock in there.”
The Boilermakers, though, were simply too big and balanced for the undersized and short-handed Spartans, whose biggest players, Gavin Schilling and Ben Carter, are out with knee injuries.
“We’re a little different, obviously, with our size,” Painter said.
The 6-foot-9, 250-pound Swanigan led the way with his nation-leading 17th double-double.