No. 1 Michigan State Knocks Off Bowling Green, 85-69
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) - Jason Richardson had 21 points and nine rebounds as top-ranked Michigan State matched its best start by beating Bowling Green, 85-69, on
Wednesday night (Dec. 27) to win the Holiday Classic.
Michigan State also was 10-0 in 1991-92. The Spartans have now won 21 straight games, one short of the 1998-99 team's school record.
The Spartans were playing for the first time since moving to the top spot in the poll. The last time Michigan State was on top during the regular season was in January of
1979, when Magic Johnson led the Spartans to the NCAA championship. Last season's NCAA title team never reached No. 1 during the season.
Charlie Bell added 18 points, and David Thomas matched his career high with 12 points and added nine rebounds for Michigan State.
Brandon Pardon led Bowling Green (4-5) with 19 points, and Trent Jackson added 14.
The Spartans led 40-35 at the half, then expanded the margin to nine by scoring the first four points of the second half.
The Falcons cut the lead to 47-43, but Bell made it a 10-point game with a three-point play and a 3-pointer.
After a free throw by Len Matela, Bell's fast-break pass set up Zach Randolph's dunk that made it 55-44 with 13:15 left.
The Falcons got back within seven points, but the Spartans went on a 9-3 run that built the edge to 65-51 with 8:47 left.
At that point, the game turned into a showcase for the Spartan showmen, with Richardson's 360-degree fast-break dunk bringing the crowd to its feet.
Michigan State led by as many as 21 points down the stretch.
Purdue Defeats Akron, 98-67
Akron's Bruce Weinkein (00) blocks a shot by Purdue's John Allison (54).
(AP Photo/Phil Long)
AKRON, Ohio (AP) - Brett Buscher came off the bench and scored 21 points to lead Purdue past Akron, 98-67, on Wednesday night (Dec. 27), as the Boilermakers won their seventh
game in a row.
Rodney Smith and Maynard Lewis each scored 15 points for Purdue (8-2), which is 7-0 in December with an average winning margin of 31 points.
Buscher, a 6-foot-8 freshman forward, used a variety of power moves inside to score 17 points in the second half as Purdue extended a 39-29 halftime lead.
Lewis scored seven straight Purdue points during a 19-9 run to open the second half that gave the Boilermakers a 58-38 lead.
Then Buscher took over. He scored on a hook shot, a reverse layup, a turnaround jumper and slam dunk while Purdue went ahead 69-45. He made 10 of 13 shots from
the field overall.
Buscher's previous collegiate best was 13 points in a 93-48 rout of Florida International on Dec. 22.
Purdue's quick defense repeatedly kept Akron from gaining any momentum. Freshman guard Austin Parkinson twice stole inbounds passes and converted easy layups
in the second half for the Boilermakers.
Purdue had 13 steals, four blocked shots and forced 21 Akron turnovers.
Junior guard Rashon Brown scored 18 points to lead Akron (3-6).
The Zips' 38-point second half was the most scored against Purdue in half during the Boilermakers' winning streak.
Purdue's defense dominated early. Akron failed to score on four consecutive possessions as Lewis scored four points during an 8-0 run that put the Boilermakers in
command at 11-3.
Purdue completely controlled the boards, outrebounding the Zips 30-14 in the first half and 43-27 overall.