The Breslin Center
East Lansing, MI
The Spartans were led by Nick Ward. He had 22 at halftime and ended with 28 points and nine rebounds. Cassius Winston had a double-double with 16 points and 12 assists. Joshua Langford had 13 and returning to the starting lineup, Matt McQuaid had 12. Freshmen Foster Loyer had 10 and Gabe Brown had 11 to round out the double-digit scorers.
Tom Izzo said, “Unfortunately this is where I get a bad rap. I should be happy, but I am not. I thought after those first five minutes we played some of our best basketball. The way we run when we are running is impressive. In the second half, Nick (Ward) played ok. You learn a lot about your team in games you should win.”
Green Bay (Out of the Horizon League) head coach Linc Darner said of the Spartans, “That is a hard game for us. We play fast and they play fast and they are faster. I think they are really good and I think they can make a run at it. They are as good as anybody I have played in the division one two level. It can be a great learning experience for us because we want to play at that pace as well.”
Tom Izzo said of the game, “What I didn’t like is that you have to learn to finish and I do not like the way that we finished the last couple of seasons. We didn’t finish and I am going to address that.”
The Spartans shot 51% from the field including 39% from the three. The Spartans shot a disappointing 65% from the free throw line and had 31 assists on 38 baskets.
The Spartans led the battle of the boards 56-34. More important the Spartans only had a shoddy 14 turnovers.
Izzo played 16 players including all five freshmen. It was a dominating performance against an inferior team, but that is what a #9 ranked team should do.
Izzo said “I do think we got some things out of them (freshmen) it was nice to see Foster (Loyer) make his free throws and make some shots. Gabe Brown made some shots. I tried to play everybody. Some teams do that and some teams don’t, I get ripped for that, but I am going to reward those guys that bust their butts.”
The Spartans return to action against Oakland back here at the Breslin Center on Friday. The tilt with the Grizzlies tips off at 7 PM and that game can be seen on BTN.
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