EAST LANSING, Mich. — Purdue guard Anthony Johnson was on his way to the basket when he was fouled by Michigan State’s Travis Trice.
Before play resumed, the officials went to a monitor at the scorer’s table to see if Johnson swung an elbow too high after he was fouled.
After a lengthy review, Johnson was called for a technical foul and Trice went to the foul line. He made two free throws, and soon after momentum started to swing the No. 18 Spartans way.
Michigan State turned a close game into a blowout, defeating the Boilermakers 84-61 in front of 14,797 fans Saturday at Breslin Center.
“Some things are going to go against you and a lot of things right in a row went against us,” Purdue coach Matt Painter said. “The things you have to talk about as a coach are the things you can control. We fouled, we missed our free throws and then we missed a couple of layups.
“At times things get out of your control and you can’t control them, but we had some things in that stretch that we could have controlled, but just didn’t handle our business.”
Purdue (7-7, 1-1 Big Ten) had its eyes on a second straight upset after knocking off No. 11 Illinois 68-61 Wednesday. The Boilermakers trailed 43-41 with 13:15 remaining when the officials went to the monitors.
Trice’s two free throws started a 25-5 run for the Spartans (12-3, 1-1).
“The first half we played hard and battled hard. The second half, we just dug ourselves in a hole,” said Purdue senior guard D.J. Byrd.
Michigan State guard Gary Harris had a lot to do with the runaway win.
The freshman scored a game-high 22 points.
“Gary Harris really killed us,” Painter said. “… You can’t let a guy like that get going.”
Harris made six three-pointers.
“He’s such a good kid. He tries to understand what he has to do within the offense, and I think he’ll find his niche. But definitely today, when you go 6 of 8 from the three, that makes a big difference in our team,” Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said.
Branden Dawson added 14 points and 11 rebounds for the Spartans. Michigan State won the rebounding battle 44-35. The Spartans outrebounded Purdue 22-13 in the second half.
“We started missing and having some breakdowns,” Painter said. “And when you do that, they’re going to get in transition and then your rebounding balance isn’t going to be as good.”
Purdue was just 9 of 20 from the foul line.
Purdue freshman center A.J. Hammons battled foul trouble, but still finished with 20 points and seven rebounds.
“I just have to be ready for your name to be called again,” Hammons said of playing with foul trouble. “I waited and then he put me back in. I just kept playing and trying not to draw fouls.”
Byrd and Terone Johnson had 14 and 11 points, respectively, but Purdue’s three-game winning streak came to an end.
“They are a good team,” Johnson said. “We can’t just blame it on the calls. There’s a lot of stuff that we can control. Thing we can’t control, we can’t sit there and cry about.
“We can control missing layups in the lane, getting back on defense and not leaving guys open. That’s what we didn’t do.”