At times, Michigan State looked like a team that was lost, waiting for Neitzel to do something to bail them out and he responded.
All head coach Tom Izzo was shake his head as MSU's woes with shooting, rebounding and turnovers continued.
"Well I think you would have to declare us not a very good basketball team right now. We are definitely struggling. We found a way to win thanks to Drew (Neitzel), but we really are not doing a lot of things very well."
Izzo pointed to the high number of turnovers and a lack of rebounding as a continuing problem for the Spartans.
"To turn the ball over that many times against that team is not very good, and the rebounding hasn't been very good, and the big guys aren't guarding very good, and Travis (Walton) is struggling a little bit, so I think we've covered everything but Drew (Neitzel). He played pretty well and he has so much pressure on him."
Indeed the Spartans coughed up 17 turnovers including five by a game, but weakened by the flu Goran Suton. But Neitzel's floor game wasn't the best either; he also committed five turnovers against just three assists.
Still, MSU managed to hang around despite shooting just 40% in the first half, thanks in large part to going 8-of-10 as a team from the free throw line.
Trailing by three at the start of the second half, Izzo substituted Idong Ibok and Drew Naymick into the starting lineup to help with rebounding.
MSU trailed by as many as five in the final period before going on an 8-0 run that gave State the lead. They never trailed in the ball game again.
Neitzel caught fire at the 12 minute mark in the game when he poured in eleven consecutive points including three straight three-pointers including one as the shot clock expired.
"What was that, like 36 seconds into the shot clock?, " asked Belmont coach Rick Byrd. "It was a huge basket."
Once again, Neitzel's scoring was MSU saving grace in a hotly contested ballgame.
The Spartans (11-2) have three days off to work out the chinks in the armour before facing Wisconsin-Green Bay Saturday, 12:00 noon at the Breslin Center.