"Out of Sync" Spartans Hang on 75-71

Junior Goran Suton certainly played in-sync, however, rebounding from an unproductive game against UCLA. He pulled down 20 rebounds and showed a complete game with 15 points and even an assist when he displayed great vision, hitting Drew Naymick in stride before the senior slammed it home late in the first half.

EAST LANSING – Nobody scored scored for the first two minutes and 27 seconds. That set the tone in a Michigan State victory against Oakland, 75-71.

"I think you've seen an out of sync basketball team, and I don't know when that's going top change," coach Tom Izzo said of his Spartans after the game.

Junior Goran Suton certainly played in-sync, however, rebounding from an unproductive game against UCLA. He pulled down 20 rebounds and showed a complete game with 15 points and even an assist when he displayed great vision, hitting Drew Naymick in stride before the senior slammed it home late in the first half.

Suton also hit a turnaround jumper with 2:25 remaining in the first half, giving Michigan State a two-point lead. The Spartans never relinquished that lead.

But Izzo wants more from Suton—namely consistency.

"Your guess is as good as mine why he can get 20 rebounds one night and zero the night before. I think that's the consistency I've talked about."

The Grizzlies led by as much as seven in the first half. Guard Brandon Cassise did most of the early damage, hitting three of eight from three-point land in the first half. He scored 20 for the game.

Forward Raymar Morgan led the Spartans with 20 points, hitting an impressive eight of 10.

Point guard Drew Neitzal, who is still not fully recovered from the flu, scored 12 and dished six assists.

"Right now we're playing a little wounded still," Izzo mentioned.

Marquise Gray saw limited action due in part to a pregame ankle-twist during warm-ups that aggravated a minor day-old injury. He played only six minutes but managed four points and two rebounds.

Oakland played an aggressive man defense in the first half and recorded five steals and eight turnovers. In the second half they resorted to a full-court press and managed to keep the game competitive.

Michigan State responded every time. The Grizzlies pulled to within two with 5:33 left, only to see the Spartans push back to a seven-point lead with 1:09 remaining.

Oakland would not go away. Jonathon Jones, an Okemos High School grad, pushed the ball and scored four straight points to put the Grizzlies within a score, 72-69 with 39 seconds left in the game.

Neitzal played keep away in the waning moments, though, managing to keep one play alive for 13 seconds by darting away from hacking defenders before he was fouled with 9.8 seconds remaining.

Oakland outscored Michigan State 34-28 in the paint, 21-12 in points off turnovers and even 10-9 in fast break points.

"All in all I was not pleased but I am trying to figure out how we can get the right lineups on the floor," Izzo said.

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