Cassius Winston, Michigan State flash toughness in physical win over Purdue

Michigan State’s junior point guard did not flinch, flashing some Detroit determination of his own and showing how much the past 2½ years have developed his on-court toughness.

Winston scored nine of his game-high 23 points in the final 4 minutes of the first half, and his display of physical toughness in a rugged, throwback Big Ten brawl helped the sixth-ranked Spartans bully the Boilermakers for a 77-59 victory Tuesday night at Breslin Center.

“It was a battle of toughness,” said senior forward Kenny Goins, who finished with seven points, 11 rebounds, six assists, three blocks and two steals while equaling a career high with 32 minutes.

When Eastern greeted him just past midcourt by reattaching himself to the dribbler’s right shoulder, Winston delivered a chicken wing that sent the Purdue guard tumbling toward the sideline.

An easy layup that put MSU ahead by eight with 3:11 left before halftime, while Eastern sat on the floor having to readjust his shoe as Painter called timeout.

As long-armed Boilermaker defender Aaron Wheeler closed, Winston swooped in and looked back at him, dropping the ball through the hoop without breaking eye contact.

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