Nojel Eastern came up big down the stretch to hold off the Spartans' comeback, as he got it done at the free throw line. Eastern shot just 50 percent at the charity strike so far this season, but he was fouled three times in a row, and made all six of those free throws.
Those big free throws helped snap the Spartans' 13-game win streak that dated back to November, a 21-game regular season win streak in Big Ten play that started last season, and a 12-game road winning streak within the conference. They did this even with their star player, Carsen Edwards, scoring just 14 points after averaging 24.7 points per game so far this season. Cline stepped in where Edwards lacked, making five three-pointers, while Aaron Wheeler had 11 points and three made shots from downtown, and Matt Haarms finished with 10 points and eight rebounds.
Spartans head coach Tom Izzo pointed out after the game that Purdue just played better defense than his team, which is what led to the upset. Cassius Winston led the Spartans with 23 points, seven rebounds, and eight assists, while Matt McQuaid added 12 points in the loss. The Spartans never led on the day as they move on to host the Indiana Hoosiers on Saturday. The Boilermakers will visit the Penn State Nittany Lions on Thursday.