For the visiting Bulldogs of UNC-Asheville, it was just simply bad.
The Spartan offense was in high gear all night, chalking up assists on 26 of their 31 baskets while running and gunning their way to a 92-63 victory in front of 14,759 fans at the Breslin Center.
Michigan State, who never trailed on the scoreboard, had five players in double figures, led by Paul Davis and Kelvin Torbert with 15 points apiece. The Spartans outscored the Bulldogs 40-18 in the paint, held a 27-2 advantage in fast break points, and grabbed a 36-to-25 rebounding edge.
The Bulldogs were led in scoring by Omar Collington and Steven Rush, who each scored 14 points.
UNC-Asheville's offensive game was hampered all night by a stingy MSU defense, which forced the Bulldogs into 21 turnovers. The Spartan defensive charge was led by Chris Hill's five steals.
Spartan Head Coach Tom Izzo spoke highly of his team's unselfishness:
There were a lot of positive things in that game for us. Probably the most positive thing was our assists statistic . . . to have point guards (Chris Hill and Drew Neitzel) with 15 assists and no turnovers is impressive. . . . There were a lot of what we call `hockey assists' because two guys are involved, but only one can get credited."
Michigan State's aggressive defense and balanced offense also resulted in plenty of trips to the charity stripe for the home team. The Spartans shot nearly twice as many free throws as UNC Asheville, hitting 21-of-25, as opposed to just 6-for-13 for the visitors.
In the first half, State held a 20-12 lead with 10:54 to go before the Spartans went on a 22-6 scoring run to close out the half with a 42-18 lead. They shot a season-best 56.4 percent from the field for the game.
Tom Izzo and his troops now head into the Big Ten slate as they travel to Happy Valley next Wednesday, January 5, for a 7 p.m. tip against Penn State.