Alvin Ellis Leads Michigan State to 74-66 Win Over the Buckeyes
East Lansing, MI
Tonight the Michigan State Spartans avenged an earlier loss this season to the Ohio State Buckeyes with a 74-66 win in the friendly confines of the Breslin Center. Amidst a winter storm outside, Alvin Ellis III played cupid on this Valentine’s Day showdown hurling and making threes sharing the accuracy of Cupid. He led the Spartans with 18 points on six three pointers.
Tom Izzo raved after game about his senior and the terrific performance. “Alvin Ellis stepped up. I started my pregame speech with telling the guys this morning when I got in there was Ellis shooting. WE get what you deserve. Alvin got what he deserved.”
It was a big night for Nick Ward who had 15 points and five rebounds. Fellow freshman Miles Bridges rounded out the only other double digit scorers with 17 points and 11 rebounds accumulating yet another double double.
The Spartans had an incredibly unselfish 20 assists on 25 baskets in the game. Michigan State saw 11 players get significant minutes and the Izzone rocked the Breslin with their best performance of the season.
Ohio State head coach Thad Matta said of the contest that, “We couldn’t get over the hump. We couldn’t make the plays when we had to make the plays. Ellis was on fire. We just couldn’t make the plays. We got the shots they just didn’t go down. We had two rebounds that we had and lost out of bounds. I thought our guys competed. We are right there; we just have to find a way to make the plays that we have to make.”
MSU shot 48% from the field while they continued to disappoint from the free throw line hitting only 67%. While the Spartans garnered 16 turnovers (21 per game for the last two) that still is a disappointingly high number. Ohio State had only 12. Cassius Winston added eight points and nine assists as well.
Izzo added that, “Well I just have to accept that we are a grinder team. Every time we got a lead we found a way to get uncomfortable. Give us credit we aren’t going to be pretty, but we are going to win. I thought at times we played good basketball. We are a blue collar team and I am proud to be a blue collar coach. I am proud of my guys sticking in there. I have done a poor job of using my timeouts.”
With tonight’s win Michigan State improves o 16-10 (8-5) on the season. The Spartans return to action on Saturday at Purdue. That game tips off at 4 PM and can be seen on ESPN.