Spartans getting back happiness on the court

Junior center Matt Costello said the Spartans found themselves in a corner and stood up and fought against Illinois

When Michigan State lost to Illinois, center Matt Costello was asked if the losses and close games were starting to wear on the Spartans.

He copped to their not being “a real happiness around here even when we win because we still know we are playing bad.”

But after the Spartans hit a season-high 13 3-pointers in a 68-44 win against Northwestern on Tuesday, the feeling had shifted and Costello said there was a happiness now.

”Our attitude was different,” he said. “We felt like we played early in the season and it worked for us.”

It was the most dominant showing for Michigan State since a 70-50 win against Indiana on Jan. 5 – also since a big second half against Iowa on Jan. 8. And it was much needed for a team that had lost a couple close games, been beaten badly once and struggled in a pair of wins over the course of the past month or so.

Costello said it came to desperation and the Spartans came out swinging.

“Desperation because we knew where were at, knew our struggles and knew we had to pick it up,” he said. “When a man is backed into a corner, he stands up and fights. We were backed into a corner. I feel like we have our mojo going and I’m ready for Ohio State.”

The Buckeyes bring a stiffer test than the Wildcats when they come to East Lansing, but with the NCAA Tournament still up in the air for MSU, it hopes to keep the momentum going.

“We just gotta sustain it and find ways to dig down and realize how we played against them and come out with the same energy and intensity,” junior Denzel Valentine said. “If we play with the energy and intensity and we are all locked in, I think we are one of the best teams in the nation.”

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