Spartans crush Lakers 107-73

"I thought Ager, Brown and Neitzel were unbelievable. I was especially happy with Ager and Brown who played incredibly unselfish," --Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo.

EAST LANSING - Maurice Ager scored 21 points, while Shannon Brown and Paul Davis chipped in with 20 apiece to pace the Michigan State Spartans to an easy 107-73 win over the Lake Superior State Lakers in the Spartans exhibition season opener at the Breslin Center last night.

Ager help the Spartans set a blistering pace from the field (71%) in building a 63-35 halftime lead over the overmatched Lakers. LSS, with 11 freshman on the roster, took the loss in stride as a learning experience.

``"It was a great experience for our kids to come down here and play in this type of environment. Having this type of experience is awesome, we're never going to see a team this good the rest of the year," said Fitzner. ``We executed some stuff on both ends, and I saw a lot of positives out there, I saw much more that we need to work on, but all in all, I was pretty pleased with the experience, so we're real happy going away."

Mike Rader paced the Lakers with 24 points on 11-of-14 shooting. Tim VanOudheusden with 13 and Shawn Berry with 10 were the only other LSS players in double figures.

Michigan State coach Tom Izzo was pleased with the play of his guards but chided his post players for not playing big enough.

"I thought Ager, Brown and Neitzel were unbelievable. I was especially happy with Ager and Brown who played incredibly unselfish," said Izzo. ``I don't think we got the ball inside enough, which was somewhat our post [player's] fault, but they moved the ball very well. I was impressed with they way they handled and passed the ball."

Izzo says he wants his his two freshman guard, Travis Walton and Maurice Joseph, to step it up a bit. "I was a little disappointed in the play of our backup guards. I need them to do what they can do. Travis is a great defender that didn't defend very well and Maurice is a great shooter that didn't shoot very well."

``I think the fact it was the first game had something to do with it," Izzo continued, ``but we need them to do what they do well. Defensively we became a little bit lethargic for awhile, which was disappointing. But, the positives definitely out weighed the negatives."

The Spartans move on to play Coach Izzo's alma mater Northern Michigan on Saturday in their final exhibition tune up before heading to Hawaii to play the hated Rainbows and then onto the Maui Invitational.


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