With the victory #12 Michigan State improves it's record to 8-2 while Cleveland State falls to 2-5.
Trailing the game late in the first half by a score of 46-35, Michigan State overcame the barrage of three-point field goals the Vikings fired and improved their win streak to 7 games. Paul Davis had 24 points and 11 rebounds and Maurice Ager chipped in 22 points and a season-high 9 rebounds.
The Vikings shot 45 percent from behind the arc and hit 10 of their 14 three-pointers in the first half. Raheem Moss and Patrick Tatham each had 12 points to lead the Vikings. Moss hit 4-of-8 three-point field goals and Tatham was 2 out of 4 as well.
Cleveland State looked nothing like the team that previously played North Carolina and was blown out by 57 points. Cleveland State's head coach, Mike Garland was an assistant under Tom Izzo at Michigan State and was very pleased with how his team played. In the post-game press conference coach Garland said, "I'm really elated with our team. For us to have the opportunity to play a program with such national esteem such as Michigan State, that just does wonders for my program."
Cleveland State has eight players on the roster from the state of Michigan, and coach Garland said it was nice for a lot of his players to return home and have their parents come out to the game.
After the game coach Izzo commented on the performance by Cleveland State, "I thought they were a fun team to watch. I don't think they'll ever hit that many three-pointers again in the first half and I told their team that. But that's what happens when you play at a level beyond where you can play at."
Izzo also said that the real hero of the game for Michigan State was Matt Trannon.
Trannon only scored twp points but it was his speech in the locker room that motivated the players on the team to start playing better basketball. Izzo said that Trannon's leadership in the locker room was comparable to the attitude that Mateen Cleaves brought to the table during their championship season in 2000.
The Big Three (Brown, Davis and Ager) accounted for 73 of the team's 83 points. Drew Neitzel was held scoreless and was 0 for 3 from the field. It is becoming a common trend to see these three stars score most of the team's points and there hasn't been a team yet to have an answer for the three talented players.
The Spartans committed 19 turnovers in the first half which was caused by tough man-to-man defense by the Vikings. Michigan State jumped out to a 23-14 lead but the Vikings went on an 18-5 run to give them a 32-28 lead.
Starting with the last minute of the first half the Spartans went on a 28-4 run to get them out to a 10-point lead with 10 minutes remaining in the second half. Michigan State played better defense in the second half and only gave up 4 three-pointers.
MSU dominated the paint during this match and outscored it's opponent 40-16 down low. They also out-rebounded Cleveland State 42-29.
Michigan State will look to continue their winning streak against Florida International on Sunday at the Breslin Center.