The Rainbow Warriors (1-0) were led by guard Matt Lojeski and forward Julian Sensley, the two each contributed 20 points last night. That was enough to end the Spartans 28 game opening season win streak.
Head coach Tom Izzo said, "The good news is it only gets tougher. We fly out tonight."
Michigan State will continue their trip in Hawaii on Monday against Chaminade in the opening round of the Maui Invitational. The Spartans might have over looked their game with Hawaii last night but the Warriors are predicted to win the WAC and were hungry to take down the No. 4 ranked Spartans.
The Spartans looked very flat in their season opener, their poor shooting was most likely affected by the long flight they had to Hawaii. Many players on Michigan State were hindered by leg cramps, including leading scorer Maurice Ager. Ager led the Spartans with 16 points, and Paul Davis added 12 points and 11 rebounds.
The Spartans top four players all had to leave the game at some point in time due to leg cramps. Shannon Brown had to be removed on a stretcher in the second half due to intense pain. "He was cramping from his neck to his feet," said Izzo.
However, Izzo was very disappointed in the fans at Hawaii who actually were cheering when Brown had to be escorted off the court. "That's the maddest I've ever been as a coach in college," Izzo said.
The Spartans were forced to play many of their younger players in their season opener, which might have led to the shocking defeat they suffered. At one point in the game they actually had four freshmen on the court.
In the second half the Spartans cut the gap as close to 56-50 with 10:44 left when Hawaii went on a 5-0 run that included Bobby Nash banking in a three-pointer. Hawaii seemed to have everything going their way and cruised to a victory after that shot.
The Rainbow Warriors came up with 27-second chance points, which was devastating to the Spartans. The Spartans are always a very good rebounding team, but they seemed to have a lot of trouble against Hawaii last night on the glass. The Spartans (0-1) will open up play in the Maui Invitational on Monday against Chaminade.