Spartans hold off Arkansas-Little Rock 72-67

"Our rebounding and toughness is where [the problem is] at, and right now it's not where it needs to be," --MSU head coach Tom Izzo.

GRAND RAPIDS, MI. — The Spartans didn't expect Arkansas Little-Rock to hang around in this game for as long as they did on Saturday as they defeated the Trojans 72-67.

Paul Davis had another big second half for the Spartans. Davis scored 17 of his game-high 23 points in the second half to rally the #13 ranked Spartans.

Michigan State came out in the second half with a 16-3 run and it looked like they were going to pull away after that but couldn't find a way to send the knock-out punch to the Trojans.

After the game Davis said, "In the first half I didn't play well, and as a team we didn't play well. I felt it was my responsibility to get the team rolling."

However, head coach Tom Izzo was definitely not pleased for a second game in a row with how his team has performed.

"Our rebounding and toughness is where it's at, and right now it's not where it needs to be," said Izzo.

In the first half, Arkansas Little-Rock was leading at several points and ended in a 30-30 tie going into the intermission. The Spartans were looking to improve on their defense this game, but forgot about their offense and committed plenty of turnovers and shot blank percent from the field.

Maurice Ager scored 22 points and was 9-10 from the free-throw line. Ager used his ability to get into the paint and score in this contest which allowed him to get to the line plenty of times which was a key to this game.

The much bigger Spartans lost the rebounding match by a total of 29-25 to the Trojans. This is something the Spartans have dominated in the past and right now they need to get back to a time where they have owned the boards.

Drew Neitzel had 9 points and 9 assists and continues to look more assertive on the offensive end of the court. Shannon Brown added 14 points and shot 3-7 from 3-point range.

Senior forward Matt Trannon was welcomed back into the Spartans' line-up on Saturday. The football star played in his first game of the year and scored 2 points in only 5 minutes on the court. Michigan State will head to New York on Tuesday where they will play #8 Boston College in the Jimmy V Classic. This should prove to be a tough test for the Spartans. Boston College is one of the premiere

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