East Lansing, MI
The #11 Michigan State Spartans improved their record on the season to 2-1 with an 80-59 win over the University of Louisiana Monroe. The Eagles are expected to compete for their conference and get to the big dance
The Spartans were led by PG Cassius Winston who had 23. Joshua Langford added 16 and Xavier Tillman rounded out the double-digit scorers with 11.
The Spartans had a spectacular seven turnovers while ULM had nine. The Spartans had a 51-37 rebounding advantage and had 13 assists on 28 baskets. They shot a terrible two of 19 from three.
At the free throw line, the Spartans shot 82%, going 18 of 22. On the night the Spartans shot only 40% from the field. 15 Spartans played in this tilt including all of the five freshmen.
Izzo said of the game, “Well it was kind of a strange game. We didn’t shoot the ball that well. Definitely an upgrade in our defense and the turnovers, but a downgrade in our shooting. Our passing was poor. Cassius was sensational. Kenny Goins getting 15 rebounds was great.”
ULM Coach Keith Richard said that “The reason we are here is that I am a huge fan of Coach Tom Izzo. I have wanted to come here and always play in this venue. Really enjoyed being here.”
Nick Ward went down and never returned to the game with an ankle injury at the 12:12 point of the first half. Izzo said of his status that, Our game plan was to go inside. Nick (Ward) went out. Sprained an ankle, nothing serious I think. He was limping around a little bit, but they hadn’t put a cast on it. They didn’t put a cast on it. I will know more tomorrow.”
Richard added, “I think that the system is at a high level. What they do from year to year. This group of players has grown in this system. They got a chance to really be an elite team this year. I don’t think them going 2-19, they can’t shoot the ball that poorly and win very often Great system and a great coach, they have a real chance. Hopefully, he (Nick Ward) is not hurt bad.”
The Spartans return to action against Tennessee Tech on Sunday, November 18 at 6 PM back here at the friendly confines of the Breslin Center. That game can be seen on BTN.
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