East Lansing, MI
The #10 Michigan State Spartans got their first win of the season tonight with a 106-82 win over a very good Florida Gulf Coasts team. The Eagles are expected to win their conference and get to the big dance.
So now the question is simple. The Spartans fought #1 Kansas down to the wire and manhandled a very good FGCU. How good are they?
The Spartans were led by Nick Ward who had a double double with 25 points and ten rebounds. Joshua Langford also had a double double with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Cassius Winston had 14 points and eight assists while Matt McQuaid rounded out the double-digit scorers with 12.
The Spartans had a disappointing 16 turnovers while FGCU had 14. The Spartans had a 49-25 rebounding advantage and had 33 assists on 41 baskets.
Frustratingly to everyone was how the game was officiated. Tom Izzo said after the contest that, “Kind of disappointed if you want the truth. I swear to God for this. I felt bad for our fans, their team, our fans and the officials. Not sure I have ever felt sympathy for the officials before. We can’t do anything right now. People can complain about the call. Do not make a mistake on this. The poor officials are mandated. If they don’t call it this way they won’t work the NCAA. The stoppage of play…but anytime there was any flow to that game I felt bad for the fans and bad for the officials. Honest to God they just sat there and tried to explain to both coaches. I just quit taking and it wasn’t them. In case you think I am being sarcastic I am not. We have over legislated this thing now. Our best players are going to be on the bench. Our best players are going to be ejected. People don’t pay for that. What they (NCAA) wants is a sideshow here: Score 150 points, and let the other team score 140.”
At the free throw line, the Spartans shot 70%, going 16 of 23. On the night the Spartans shot only 53% from the field. 14 Spartans played in this tilt including all of the five freshmen
Izzo said of the game, “As far as my team goes, they aren’t guarding anyone. We have given up 92 and 82. We did a poor job the second half with turnovers. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll call Dantonio and borrow some things.”
FGCU Coach Michael Fly said of the contest that, “They are always going to try to out rebound you. If you can take them out of their sets you have a tremendous chance of winning. It is what we expected. They are going to defend, rebound and come at you and you have to do better than we did tonight.”
The Spartans return to action against Louisiana Monroe on Wednesday, November 14 at 7 PM at the friendly confines of the Breslin Center. That game can be seen on BTN.
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