A day that started with an altercation with Michigan State teammate Branden Dawson ended with a career performance for Adreian Payne.
In between, there were some tense moments for the scuffling Spartans with an unhappy coach Tom Izzo and 20-plus minutes spent on the bench as punishment before Michigan State asserted control in the second half.
Payne had a career-best 20 points in the 18th-ranked Spartans’ 81-72 win Wednesday night, then paired with Dawson to share responsibility for their spat in Happy Valley.
“There were a couple words that escalated into an incident, a tussle. We were tussling and bumped into a wall,” Payne said. “I feel embarrassed and want to apologize to Penn State and our program.”
Izzo left the roommates – and two of his best forwards – on the bench until about 16:30 of the second half.
“It kind of got out of hand,” Dawson said about the altercation. “We deserved it.”
Purdue 65, Nebraska 56: Terone Johnson scored 18 points to lead four Purdue players in double figures, and the Boilermakers turned back Nebraska’s comeback bid in Lincoln, Neb.
A.J. Hammons added 14 points and eight rebounds, D.J. Byrd scored all 12 of his points in the second half on four 3-pointers, and Ronnie Johnson had 10 points and six assists as the Boilermakers posted their first Big Ten Conference road win.
The Huskers, playing without senior forward Brandon Ubel for a second straight game, have lost their first five conference games for the second time in four seasons.
Ohio 81, Northern Illinois 63: Walter Offutt scored 19 points and Ohio used a 20-2 run in the first half to defeat NIU in Athens, Ohio.
Abdel Nader scored 17 points for Northern Illinois (3-12, 1-2 MAC), Keith Gray had 14, and J.J. Cravatta and Darrell Bowie had 10 each.
Wichita St. 74, Illinois St. 62: Cleanthony Early scored 16 points to lead Wichita State at home.
Jackie Carmichael had 22 points and nine rebounds for Illinois State (9-9, 0-6 MVC). Tyler Brown added 14 point and nine rebounds.
UIC 61, Loyola 59: Gary Talton’s layup with 2 seconds to play gave Illinois-Chicago a victory over Loyola in Chicago.
Talton, who led the Flames (11-7, 2-3 Horizon) with 14 points, also hit a 3-pointer with 2:16 to play to tie the game at 57. Loyola’s Ben Averkamp scored to restore the Ramblers’ lead, but Josh Crittle’s basket tied it again for UIC. After Talton’s go-ahead basket, Averkamp’s 3-point try bounced off the rim at the buzzer.
Crittle had 12 points and seven rebounds for Illinois-Chicago, which snapped a three-game losing streak.
Christian Thomas scored 16 points and Averkamp finished with 14 for the Ramblers (10-7, 1-4), who have lost four in a row — three by either one or two points.