Balance, unselfishness lead MSU to win

Michigan State puts five scorers in double figures with plenty of assists on the way to an 87-52 win on Friday night.

Scoring balance and sharing the ball. That was the recipe for Michigan State in an 87-52 win and figures to be seen more throughout the coming basketball season.

”We already know, this team we don’t just have two options,” senior Travis Trice said. “We have multiple options. You saw tonight when everyone is clicking at the same time, it’s hard to guard us.”

On Friday night, the Spartans had five players score in double figures – led by freshman Marvin Clark and senior Branden Dawson with 15 each – and recorded 27 assists on 36 made shots.

“We just love playing for each other,” said Trice, who finished with 13 points and seven assists. “I think guys are more excited when they get an assist than when they score a bucket. That’s a good thing to have. Guys are really pulling for each other.”

It was the needed bounce back from the Spartans’ loss to Duke on Tuesday, but coach Tom Izzo said he did not see his players down from the loss.

”I'm sure it helped us a little bit bouncing back but it wasn't like we were that down about it because we knew what we did wrong, we knew what we did right,” Izzo said.

Early on, the focus was on getting the ball down low and getting center Matt Costello going. The junior had the first six points of the game as he hit a jump hook, finished a dump off from Trice and a lay up off a pick-and-roll from Denzel Valentine.

“The idea was just we were bigger than them so we wanted to use our advantage and try to go in and get our big guys some confidence going into these next games,” Valentine said.

Costello finished with his second career double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds. His early six points got the Spartans off to a 17-2 run to open the game, as they held Loyola to just 14 first-half points.

While Costello had a big night, so did the freshman Clark. In his first career home game, he hit three 3-pointers on his way to 15 points.

Valentine was the final Spartan in double figures, finishing with 12 points.


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