No. 12 Michigan State Drops Purdue

Adam BiggersSenior Analyst IIFebruary 9, 2013

Gary Harris has emerged as a legitimate star; he's no longer just a "good freshman."
Gary Harris has emerged as a legitimate star; he's no longer just a "good freshman."Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Branden Dawson's team- and career-high 20 points led the Michigan State Spartans to a 78-65 win Saturday night over the Purdue Boilermakers at Mackey Arena in West Lafayette. 

Keith Appling and Derrick Nix each scored 17. Adreian Payne finished with 12 points and six rebounds, while Gary Harris contributed with eight points and three steals. 

Terone Johnson took charge of the Boilers offense with a team-high 20 points. Ronnie Johnson chipped in with 15 points, and freshman center AJ Hammons scored 13 points and pulled down eight boards. 

The Spartans (20-4, 9-2) sit in first place in the Big Ten. Purdue (12-12, 5-6) didn't capitalize on its chance to stay in the upper half of the league and sits in seventh place. 

Follow Bleacher Report's Michigan State Spartans basketball writer Adam Biggers on Twitter @AdamBiggers81