Spartans Get a Much Need Win Over Arch Rival Michigan 70-62!
East Lansing, MI
The Michigan State Spartans came into this heated rivalry game riding a three game losing streak and losers of four of the last five. They snapped it with a gutsy and often chippy 70-62 win over the Wolverines.
It was one of the best team wins for the Spartans on the year. While Miles Bridges led with a double double, he had 15 points and 13 rebounds, he wasn’t the only participant or major contributor. Freshman Cassius Winston led the green and white in scoring 16 and adding three assists and Nick Ward added 13 points. Matt McQuaid found his shot hitting all three of his three point shots for nine points.
Tom Izzo said of the rivalry win that, “I think like everybody I am happy with the win. We did something we haven’t done and that is sustain and getting better in the second half. The one thing we didn’t do was rebounding and that surprised me. If you look at what we shot and getting (Matt) McQuaid a couple of threes, I thought we got a lot out of our bench. We played good enough and yet it wasn’t like we shot the lights out. We have a lot of room for improvement and we are going to try to improve a lot over the next few weeks.”
Michigan State lost the battle of the boards 33-32 and in the turnover category MSU had only 11 to Michigan’s 13. MSU was stout at the free throw line making 74% (17/23) and dominated in bench points 33-15. Michigan State had 13 assists on 24 baskets. Michigan took 10 more shots than the Spartans, but made five less than the Spartans and shot an abysmal 27%.
Michigan head coach John Beilein said of the contest that it was, “Really a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon. What a great basketball game. They had a great defensive plan that worked really well. They didn’t kill us on the boards like they have done in the past up here. We lost each half by four points and that is two or three possessions that we lost in each half and that is the story of the game. You can’t settle and we did. Their defense is terrific and it has been for years and years and years. Credit them.”
Izzo added about the tilt, “There were a lot of good things, yet there were some things that we are going to work on. Matt McQuaid was three for three from three and that is a big thing for his confidence. We had a lot of guys play well and the crowd was great. I was happy with our effort.”
The Spartans return to action on Thursday in Lincoln, NE against the Cornhuskers. That game tips off at 7PM and can be seen on ESPN.