WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Branden Dawson scored 20 points and Keith Appling added 17, leading No. 12 Michigan State past Purdue 78-65 on Saturday night.
The Spartans (20-4, 9-2 Big Ten) have won nine of their last 10 games and will have at least a share of the league lead regardless of what happens Sunday when No. 1 Indiana visits No. 10 Ohio State.
Purdue (12-12, 5-6) was led by Terone Johnson with 20 points and Ronnie Johnson with 15, but it wasn't enough to avoid a fourth loss in five games or a fifth straight loss in the series.
Michigan State trailed only once all night at 8-7. Twice in the first half, the Spartans appeared on the verge of blowing out Purdue before the Boilermakers rallied to within 31-23 at the half.
But the Spartans opened the second half on a 12-5 spurt to take a 43-28 lead. Purdue never got closer than 11 after that.