Spartans Come to Lincoln and Take Down the Huskers 72-61!
Pinnacle Bank Arena
The Michigan State Spartans improved to 14-9 (6-4) tonight with a 72-61 win over the Huskers at palatial Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln. The Spartans came out shaky, but quickly righted the ship building off their last game when they tamed the Wolverines.
The Spartans played their best game of the year with Miles Bridges leading the way with 16 points and six rebounds. Alvin Ellis III played outstanding with 11 points and four rebounds and had some key stops on defense. Kenny Goins, Cassius Winston and Nick Ward each added 10 points to round out the Spartans double digit scorers.
Tom Izzo said of the contest, “I am ecstatic about the win. The job Miles has done here is unbelievable. Tonight we just made some mistakes and that was our turnovers and defensive rebounding. We had (Nick) Ward and (Kenny) Goins were sick as a dog. Getting better, but we have a long way to go. Happy to get the win and get the hell out of dodge.”
The Spartans shot a lights out 56% from the field and a mind numbing 65% from three. The Spartans were a paltry 50% from the free throw line, getting to the charity stripe only six times. Conversely the Huskers were 17 of 22. Yes you read that right, MSU shot six free throws and the Huskers 22.
Nebraska head Coach Tim Miles watched his Huskers fall to 10-12 (4-6) and said of the contest that, “I thought they (the Spartans) defended well. They shrunk the floor so it felt like our guards didn’t have anywhere to go,” Nebraska coach Tim Miles said. “But more than anything, they really executed their stuff. Their ball movement was excellent, and they made their shots. They made big shots. And they kept doing it.”
For Michigan State is was their best team win of the season and it came following the game before that had been the best of the season prior to tonight. That means the Spartans are peaking in February and aren’t close to their ceiling. A fact I asked Izzo about.
“I think this team has a lot of room for growth if those two big guys get healthy. Our margin for error is still slim, but it is probably a little better. We have quantity depth that has some quality.”
The Spartans return to action on Tuesday night in Ann Arbor. The beat the Wolverines last Sunday 70-62 and are looking for the regular season sweep. That game can be seen on ESPN and it tips off at 9PM.