Spartans Shuck the Corn 88-72
The Michigan State Spartans took down the Nebraska Cornhuskers for the second time this season tonight by a score of 88-72 and improved their record on the season to17-11 (9-6). It was a great team effort for the Spartans playing for the first time without senior guard Eron Harris.
MSU dominated this game in just about every statistic. They led with points in the paint by a 42-28 margin and owned the second chance points, scoring 18 compared to the Huskers miniscule three.
After the game I asked Husker head coach Tim Miles about the disparity in those two specific stats and he said, “The dominated in every aspect of the game when you look at those stats. (Nick) Ward and Miles Bridges are game changers and we were not up for the fight. I really think that their transition gets you on your heels and if you don’t get the ball under control you are always behind.”
Spartan freshman Nick Ward had twenty points and nine boards. Fellow freshman Miles Bridges also led the Spartans along with Ward 20 points. He also had five rebounds. Joshua Langford was the only other Spartan in double figures and he had 17.
MSU head coach said of the contest that, “That was a strange game, but I give our guys some credit. It was a sloppy game that I don’t think every looked pretty. We did some good things, but also made some poor decisions. We still have our moments and I should probably be happier than I am. We didn’t think we guarder their ball screens as well as we should and I thought Langford played better. We got hurt some early on foolish turnovers. Tim (Miles) has done a great job there.”
The Spartans won the battle of the boards 42-37. On the night the Spartans shot 47% compared to the Huskers 39%. MSU had only nine turnovers compared to Nebraska’s 11. MSU also had 18 assists on 29 baskets and they were a stellar 74% from the charity stripe.
Coach Miles added of the Spartans, “They got us and they got us every way that you could. They were on the attack we were not. Tonight wasn’t our night. I really like them (MSU) and I think Cassius Winston is a real difference maker. He probes so well and delivers the ball. He does good things that are hard to guard and when he takes a good shot it is going in. If those role guys spot up shooters, will make shots this can be a really good team. We totally got our butts kicked the last four minutes of the first half.”
The Spartans simply found ways to win. With a defensive intensity that stifled the Huskers all night, MSU led in steals and in blocks getting six and seven respectively. The tale of the tape for the Spartan freshmen was impressive as they collectively had 64 points, 20 rebounds and nine assists.
The Spartans did all of it in front of the Detroit Lions coaching staff led by Jim Caldwell. Tom Izzo also added, “We had the Detroit Lions here tonight. They brought the entire coaching staff and Coach Caldwell spoke to the team (afterward) and that was fun.”
The Spartans return to action on Sunday at 4 PM here at the Breslin Center. They will be taking on Wisconsin and that game can be seen on CBS.