Cats' shooting woes lift the Spartans

The Wildcats could not overcome a miserable first half and fell to Michigan State 74-60, giving more credence to the "Breslin Curse". The Cats shot under 30% for the contest, including a horrible 17.2% in the first half where the Spartans did the bulk of their damage. Michigan State extended the nation's longest home winning streak to 50 games.

Jason Gardner missed his first five three pointers and finished with only 17 points. Rick Anderson and Luke Walton chipped in 15 each, as the three juniors had 47 of the team's 60 points.

The Spartans were led by Adam Ballinger who scored a career high 18 points.

The Spartans controlled the glass, grabbing a decided rebounding advantage. Combined with Arizona's lackluster shooting day, the Spartans were in control for the entire ball game. The Wildcats made a run at the beginning of the second half, employing the full-court press, but could get no closer than five.

Arizona started the first half as cold as any Wildcat team in recent memory. Arizona couldn't buy a basket, starting the game 2-20 from the field and 0-12 from behind the arc. The Cats went without a field goal for 9:04, but were able to hang around.

Michigan State's slow pace worked in the Cats favor and after Luke Walton and Rick Anderson hit back to back shots, the Cats only trailed 21-14.

Just when it appeared that the Cats were back in the game, the Spartans heated up. The Spartans outscored Arizona 14-5 before the Cats scored four points in the final minute but still trailed 38-22 at the half. The Cats shot a paltry 17.2% from the field ion the opening frame.

The second half started better for the young Wildcats. The Cats used better pressure defense, mixing in the press and excellent ball movement to score the first 10 points of the half. Gardner nailed his first three, and Anderson and Frye got loose down low for wide-open looks.

The Cats got within six by picking up the tempo. Will Bynum found Anderson on the fast break for a three-point play, after the free throw the Cats trailed 38-31 before the first television timeout.

Arizona was down 45-40 following a Gardner three and a Walton fast break lay-up, but Michigan State came back and scored the next five and regained a 10-point lead.

Michigan State rolled down the stretch maintaining a double-digit lead for almost the entire final 10:00 of the game.

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