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No. 8 Purdue 8-0 in Big Ten after trouncing No. 16 MSU

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) -- Purdue's 12th straight win was its
most impressive yet.

The eighth-ranked Boilermakers played their best game of the
season in a 73-53 win over 16th-ranked Michigan State on Thursday
night.

Purdue (16-2, 8-0 Big Ten) reached the halfway point of the
conference schedule unbeaten and notched its fourth win over a
ranked team this season.

Katie Gearlds scored 23 points, Aya Traore scored 17 and Lindsay
Wisdom-Hylton added 11 points, seven rebounds and seven steals for
the Boilermakers.

"For 40 minutes, I think we played extremely good basketball,"
Gearlds said. "We came out a little sluggish to start the second
half, but we stayed poised and didn't let it rattle us."

Liz Shimek led Michigan State with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
The 6-foot-1 forward entered the game averaging 19 points, but was
largely held in check. Many of her points came on putbacks.
Purdue's gameplan was to pressure the Spartans' guards and keep the
ball out of Shimek's hands.

"As she goes, Michigan State goes," Curry said.

It was Michigan State's second loss to a top 10 team this week.
The Spartans (14-7, 4-4) fell to No. 7 Ohio State 67-65 Sunday on a
last-second shot by Jessica Davenport.

Michigan State led Purdue 14-9 early, but the Boilermakers
outscored the Spartans 29-12 the rest of the first half to lead
38-26 at the break. Purdue made 6-of-11 3-pointers and forced 11
turnovers before halftime. Gearlds had 12 points and four assists
in the first half and Wisdom-Hylton had five steals at the break.

Shimek scored six straight points at the beginning of the second
half to cut Purdue's lead to 38-32, but the Boilermakers quickly
bounced back with a 7-0 run to take a 45-32 lead. Michigan State
never got closer than 10 points the rest of the way. Purdue's
largest lead was 27 points after Gearlds made a 3-pointer with 6:34
left.

Purdue made 10-of-18 3-pointers. Gearlds made 5-of-8 threes.

"It all starts with our defense," Shimek said. "We were
letting their go-to players get wide-open shots. They dictated to
us."

"We need to be a lot more aggressive," Michigan State coach
Joanne McCallie said. "It was mostly a lack of aggression and
focus."

Purdue held Michigan State to 35 percent shooting. The
Boilermakers haven't allowed more than 59 points during their
winning streak.

Curry said this week a win against the Spartans would be
important down the road for seeding in the NCAA Tournament. For
now, the Boilermakers will focus on playing Northwestern on Sunday.

"We're not going to get too high or too low," she said.
"We're not going to look back and we're not going to look ahead.
We've got half a lap to go. We need to do what got us to this
point."