Next Game: Inside The Spartans

While archrival Michigan continues to struggle, the Spartans just take care of business. <br><br> Michigan State handled an improving Ohio State team with an 83-69 win at home before Tom Izzo took his team to Ann Arbor and spanked the downtrodden Wolverines 64-49.

The Spartans are using a balanced attack to get ready for the upcoming NCAA tournament. Alan Anderson led the way for Michigan State with 16 points at Michigan and was one of four Spartans in double-figures.

Michigan State has been dominant against Michigan in recent years, having won 12 of 13 games in the rivalry. This year's senior class is 5-1 against Michigan.

"I talked to those guys in the last huddle and told them there are memories you take away from college, and if you happen to stay in the state you're always going to talk about the rivalry game," Izzo said. "So it was important to them and in certain ways they all came through some. I was just happy for them."

Michigan had closed to within eight points in the second half before the Spartans responded with a 10-0 run. Anderson keyed the run with back-to-back jumpers and he also played outstanding defense against Michigan center Chris Hunter, who had two points and made just 1-of-6 shots from the field.

Michigan State asserted itself early by jumping out to a 14-7 lead over the Wolverines five minutes into the game. Michigan simply lacked the overall scoring to get back into the game.

"They had it going in high gear early and I'm disappointed in our inability in that part of the game to stop them," said Michigan coach Tommy Amaker. "I thought they just pushed it right at us and put us on our heels."

That's exactly what Izzo would like to see from his team the rest of the way. The Spartans host Minnesota and travel to Purdue this week.


  • Michigan State trails the all-time series with Michigan 89-68, but the Spartans have taken 12 of the last 13 games in the series.

  • Michigan State is averaging 80.5 ppg. That ranks second in the Big Ten and 14th nationally.

  • The Spartans lead the Big Ten with an average of 36,3 rebounds per game.

  • Lineup: Point guard Drew Neitzel, Guard Maurice Ager, center Paul Davis, guard Shannon Brown, forward Alan Anderson.

  • Quote It: "This is a special rivalry and we take a lot of pride in it. Any time you can get a victory over your rival it's big, especially at their place." -- Michigan State guard Chris Hill on the Spartans' 64-49 victory over Michigan Feb. 12. Michigan State has recorded 12 wins in their last 13 games against Michigan.

  • Inside The Spartans:  The Spartans have the kind of all-around scoring that Tom Izzo wants from his team. Four players were in double-figures against Michigan Feb. 12 and five Spartans are averaging in double-figures this season. If they can maintain their offensive consistency -- they are averaging a Big Ten-high 79.7 ppg -- they could be a major postseason factor.

  • Roster Report: Guard Maurice Ager is leading the Spartans in scoring with an average of 13.7 ppg and shooting 49 percent from the field.
  • Center Paul Davis is averaging a team-high 6.9 rebounds per game. Davis had 10 points and six rebounds in the win over Michigan.
  • Guard Chris Hill came off the bench to scored 11 points in the win over Michigan. He was 3-of-8 from beyond the arc against the Wolverines.
  • Guard Drew Neitzel was scoreless in the win over Michigan. While Neitzel plays an unselfish game, head coach Tom Izzo needs more from him.

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