While this game was certainly not for any type of crown, the Spartans played like it was. As a team, the Green & White caused 22 turnovers, 16 in the first half, and held the Vandal starters to 15 of 36 shooting from the floor.
"(Michigan State's) pressure was really good tonight — as good as I've seen," Idaho head coach Don Verlin said. "They worked us full court all night they wore us out … their depth is unbelievable, they just keep coming at you."
But one player in particular caused really mucked things up for the Vandals..
"I really like that (Kalin Lucas) … I thought he pressured our point guard out of our offense all night long," Verlin said.
The sophomore point guard tallied 13 points and 9 assists without committing a turnover and was the driving force behind the Spartans constant defensive pressure.
"(Lucas) was the key player in the game. Even though some other guys had some big games, he's the one who gave us all the problems tonight," Verlin said.
Lucas is primarily known as an incredibly fast guard who can speed the game up as well as any player in the nation, but the rest of his game is still progressing.
One of the areas Coach Tom Izzo had stressed to Lucas and his teammates has been defensive pressure, and the team has responded thus far.
"I think we had great pressure," Lucas said. "That's one thing coach has stressed on, he wants us to press them and he just wants us to get in guys and I think we did a great job of doing that today."
Izzo praised Lucas. "Kalin did an incredible job, really getting after it," he said.
With a dynamic guard like Lucas leading the way, offensively and defensively, the Spartans are prepared to take on a difficult schedule that lies ahead. But for one night the Spartans feel comfortable with their performance, especially on the end of the court where it really counts.
"I think we guarded pretty good," Lucas said. "I think our help defense was there and I think guys hit shots today."