Before we move on to preparing for the #5/#6 Spartans’ matchup with Penn State on Sunday, let’s take a quick look back at Michigan State’s win over Purdue at the Breslin Center on Tuesday night. SpartansWire’s Chris Farmer has some quick hits.
By Chris Farmer, SpartansWire Contributor, Reporter, Telephotojournalist
Thursday, January 10th
Why State Grabbed The W –
We’re all scared of something in life.
Getting on an airplane.
Speaking in front of a crowd.
Creep (or not creepy) clowns.
Tattoo played by Herve Vilchez from Fantasy Island.
The dead rising from the grave.
Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together – mass hysteria…
I happened to cross paths with Boilermaker mascot Purdue Pete many moons ago.
It was a haunting experience, to say the least.
I didn’t realize his lips were so lusciously decorated.
He just stared at me with this unsettling emptiness.
He was wielding a hammer.
There was no smile.
Just these piercing wide eyes and pursed (and, as I’ve already said, luscious) lips – and a lifeless epidermis to go along with a far-away stare.
In our 30 second encounter, I felt as if he was trying to devour my soul.
Or maybe he was just wondering why he fell for the suggestion that he receive a lobotomy procedure years ago.
The encounter made me wonder about how many different iterations there have been of Purdue Pete.
Perhaps one iteration has been more than enough?
Feeling a little uneasy after that initial encounter with the muscled man, I skittishly scuttled back to the press room to regain my composure.
This past Tuesday night in East Lansing, Michigan State’s 77-59 win over the Boilers had the Spartan faithful feeling unsettled and a little uneasy as Purdue whittled the lead down to as little as four points with 10:24 to play in the game.
But as this season rolls along, Spartan fans are being taught to have faith and trust in emerging superstar Cassius Winston.
Winston was his typical, tantalizing, and dazzling self.
Winston wowed the crowd and Tom Izzo with crafty hesitation moves to the the basket and timely 3 pointers.
The hardwood quarterback shook off a slow start and finished with 23 points to lead the Green & White to its ninth straight win.
“You have to give him credit,” said Boilers coach Matt Painter. “I thought from an individual standpoint he was the difference for them.”
Michigan State had a balanced effort from the rotation getting 16 points and 9 boards out of Nick Ward, who was double-teamed early and often by the Black & Gold.
Kenny Goins continues to be the “Glue Stick” for the squad.
Goins finished with 7 points, 11 rebounds and a game high 6 assists.
“Just everyone top to bottom really gutted this one out,” said Goins. “We fought through and made it to the end.”
See – there is nothing to be afraid of, folks.
Except, perhaps, for the thought of Purdue Pete standing over your bed in the middle of the night just staring at you as you sleep.
And I have it on good underground knowledge that Vegas would put heavy odds in Sparty’s favor if he and Purdue Pete had to prepare for a UFC cage match any time soon.
Off the record and on the condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the subject matter, a highly-positioned executive at the Westgate Las Vegas Casino (known to you and me as the Las Vegas SuperBook) says Sparty would be 9.7/14.5 to take Purdue Pete in less than 90 seconds.
Who Stepped Up?
Matt McQuaid and Aaron Henry rode Purdue scoring machine Carsen Edwards like a suit that Rodney Dangerfield used to sport.
The Spartan duo held Edwards to a season-low 11 points on 3-of-16 shooting.
“McQuaid was unbelievable, you know?” Coach Izzo boasted. “We guarded Edwards the way we wanted to, we ran him off screens, we had our bigs help out.”
State capitalized off 18 offensive rebounds that led to 3 big “Quaido Bombs” from behind the arch.
The senior guard finished with 9 points.
“McQuaid is a good player.” said Purdue’s Painter. “They were physically and mentally tougher than us, so that’s where we leave it.”
With a quarter of the B1G season complete the Spartans stand unblemished at 5-0.
Michigan State goes for 10 in a row on Sunday in the Happiest of all Valleys at Penn State (7-8, 0-4).
The Lions have struggled once again this season and have been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons after the school suspended head coach Pat Chambers one game for shoving one of his players.
The Spartans continue to roll.
Has it crossed anyone’s mind that Michigan State almost looks comfortable without sensational 2-guard Joshua Langford in the lineup, who remains sidelined with ankle issues?
Many expected a tougher road for the Green & White even with Langford.
Instead, this team continues to hammer away with outstanding chemistry and cohesion.
It’ll be a surprise if the hammering doesn’t continue this Sunday at Penn State.
And, just to put a bow on the topic of the day, Purdue’s official mascot – Purdue Pete – is, for all intents and purposes, a creepy looking guy wearing a helmet.
That wears lipstick and sort of has the look of the clown that freaked out the kid in his bedroom in Poltergeist.