East Lansing, MI
The #6 Michigan State Spartans improved their record on the season today to 24-5 (11-5) with an 88-57decimation of the Penn State Lions. They embarrassed them. Actually PSU embarrassed themselves.
PSU head coach Pat Chambers picked up two quick technical fouls at the 4:53 point of the 1st half, after delivering a profanity laces tirade at the referees. At which point a coach is supposed to exit the court immediately. He tried to huddle with his team and a police officer came out on to the court prior to his leaving, to usher him off.
Sadly another assistant picked up a technical at the 15:43 way point of the second half and with 15:35 left Jordan Dickerson picked up a flagrant foul. They were simply terrible.
I asked PSU head coach Pat Chambers about his meltdown after the game and he said, “These kids work so hard for us. We have to continue to fight and if I feel like that’s being taken away from them, we’ll fight for them. I’m going to fight for my best player, Brandon Taylor, he’s sacrificed, he’s remained loyal and committed to us during the darkest days of this university and for that and for what he’s done for us this year, I’m going to fight, our staff is going to fight, our team is going fight, we’re trying to build a culture. We’re trying to change, we’re trying to buck the system of being the brunt of everybody’s jokes, so we’re going to fight, and players are going to fight.”
Spartan head coach Tom Izzo said of Chambers that, “I am telling you he is a good coach. They are really growing and making some plays. We are all frustrated sometimes. This is a good coach who is busting his butt. Has some young kids getting better, but I thought our defense was the difference in the game.”
MSU shot 44% while the Lions shot 32%. MSU had 22 assists on 28 buckets and won the battle of the boards 51-33. MSU had a low six turnovers compared to 11 on the Lions. Denzel Valentine had 19 points and eight rebounds and Bryn Forbes had 15 points.
Izzo said that his team didn’t see PSU as an also ran; the Lions had beaten some good teams despite their record. “We went into this game looking at Penn state knowing that had beaten Indiana and Iowa. We haven’t beat Iowa. Our defense and rebounding kept us in the game and that is how it has to be if you are going to keep winning this time of the year. It was kind of our day. We did get to the line, but we just missed some free throws.”
At the Ohio State game Tom Izzo bemoaned the production of his big men. To the point that even some fans commented negatively about his demanding nature. They responded today. Matt Costello had a double double with 10 points and 11 rebounds. Deyonta Davis had 15 points, Marvin Clark added five points and four rebounds and Gavin Schilling had three points and two rebounds.
Izzo said of the production of his bigs that, “Our guys inside came to play. I would love a question about why I jump them. They played like men today.”
Chambers shared appreciation for how the Spartans are playing right now. “They are at their peak right now as usual. Coach Izzo has them ready for the tournament right now. MSU is really playing at an incredible level. Their three seniors are playing incredible; you can hear the out there talking the whole time.”
The Spartans tip off next against Rutgers on Wednesday March 2 at 7PM and you can see that contest on BTN.