The #11 Michigan State Spartans came in here tonight fresh off of an upset that snapped a three game losing streak. This one was over before it started as the Spartans dominated start to finish and winning 76-45.
The story line of this game was the MSU shooting. The Spartans shot a season high 16 of 26 from three. That is an astounding 62%. The Spartans unselfish play continued with 22 assists on 28 field goals. 14 Spartans played and 10 of them scored. How close was the game? MSU led 38:56 of the 40 minute game.
MSU head coach Tom Izzo said of his Spartans dominance, “We found a way to win. Zel made some shots, he made some long ones. That is strictly him. He was worked on his shooting over the summer and his ball handling for four years. Denzel Valentine is self-made and that is pretty cool.”
Chris Collins the head coach of the Wildcats had high praise of the Spartans also. He said, “Hard to win when you can’t make shots. If you can’t put the ball in the basket you Great respect for that team and program. One of the best teams in the county with one of the best players in Denzel Valentine. We should learn from what they do. Coach Izzo is a role model for me. I feel badly for our guys because their effort was tremendous. This was one team that shot the crap out of it and one that didn’t. When you can’t score it is demoralizing.”
The Spartans dominance was all over the stat sheet. MSU shot 51% from the field while holding the hapless Cats to an abysmal 21%. MSU was even 100% from the free throw line. The only disappointing stat was MSU led the turnover numbers 15-11, but controlled the boards 42-33.
Denzel Valentine was well, Denzel Valentine. He had 19 points, six rebounds and seven assists and manhandled the Cats with is off ball defense and moving without the ball.
Izzo added of the game, “Our three freshmen were great, but we need our three seniors. You cannot foul like we did and you can’t miss shot clocks like we did. I don’t want to dampen it, but I am going to. It is inexcusable. It showed some character, we played in a big game (vs Maryland) and didn’t have a letdown.”
Deyonta Davis continued his emergence with eight points, 11 rebounds, three assists and six blocks. He was joined by fellow freshman Matt McQuaid who added a top tier performance. McQuaid had 17 points and Bryn Forbes added nine.
Izzo said of DD and his play, “Deyonta Davis had six blocks and some of them were amazing. I turned to Dwayne Stephens and said wow. Deyonta you could go to on the block and he was efficient. He is getting better. He is putting more time in. This was the best mental defense that he was played. I see him growing a little bit every day and I catch myself laughing to myself. I don’t know how Cal (Calipari the UK Coach) does it. (Dealing with freshman) He (Davis) has handled coaching and getting ripped.”
The Spartans improved their record to 18-4 (5-4) on the season. They tip off again this Sunday at the Breslin Center for a game that tips at 5:15 PM. That game can be seen on BTN.