Spartans pound IPFW 80-43, move to 8-2

Maurice Joseph, Drew Neitzel, and Marquise Gray each scored 13 points as Michigan State (8-2) pounded IPFW (3-6) 80-43 on Wednesday night at the Breslin Center.

EAST LANSING - Maurice Joseph, Drew Neitzel, and Marquise Gray each scored 13 points as Michigan State (8-2) pounded IPFW (3-6) 80-43 on Wednesday night at the Breslin Center.

The Spartan defense held the Mastodons to 26 percent shooting from the field, forced 18 turnovers, and blocked eight shots, while dominating on the boards, 45-25.

"Being a veteran of the Big Ten, I know Michigan State's going to play hard, play tough, but I've never seen anything like it to be honest with you. I haven't seen an MSU team defense as tough as they are playing at this point," said IPFW Coach and former Indiana star Dane Fife.

With starting small forward Raymar Morgan out with a stress fracture in his shin, Isaiah Dahlman saw extended action and impressed the home crowd with his play, finishing with nine points in 27 minutes.

"We felt like we needed to get (Dahlman) more and more time, and I thought he made some good moves with the ball, but I think I'm most impressed with his defense," said Coach Tom Izzo.

Due to Morgan's injury, eight Spartans saw at least 16 minutes on the court. Goran Suton nearly scored another double-double but fell short by one rebound, finishing with 10 points and nine boards. Gray added eight rebounds to his 13 points as well.

"We were just sitting there with four players to rotate in three positions, and four players with 120 minutes means that each guy averages 30, and I'm constantly still paranoid about Drew (Neitzel) and Travis (Walton) playing too many minutes, but as we always say, somebody's misfortune is somebody else's opportunity," said Izzo.

"Those guys took the opportunity, and I even enjoyed having Raymar on the bench, listening to some of his comments. In that way maybe it'll be a blessing, he'll get to see things a little bit more," added Izzo.

Tyler Best led the Mastodons with 12 points and six rebounds and Jaraun Burrows added 10 points. Justin Hawkins scored nine points, going 3-for-3 from three-point.

MSU led 39-24 at half and extended the lead to 45-25 to start the second half.

"It was a good win for us, but we can't make some of the mistakes we did, like not knowing where our men are, like our play before halftime," said Izzo. "We step up three notches on Saturday, and we're going to have to be a lot better."

MSU plays BYU on Saturday at the Palace in Auburn Hills for the Spartan Clash.


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