Ann Arbor, MI
The Spartans were led by the amazing Cassius Winston who had 27 points and eight assists while playing the entire 40 minutes. Kenny Goins had a double-double getting 16 points and 11 rebounds. Matt McQuaid had 13 points and five rebounds and finally Xavier Tillman rounded out the Spartan double-digit scorers adding 14 points and five rebounds while the best game of his Spartan career.
Tom Izzo said, “Big game for us and a big win for us. So proud of my staff, my players and my scout team. They did an incredible job.”
Wolverine head coach John Beilein said of the game, “This was just a tremendous basketball game. Michigan State had a tremendous game plan and just played better than us. They were much better than us in just about everything. The offense, defense and at the foul line more.”
The Spartans shot 50% from the field including 25% from the three. The Spartans shot a stellar 80% from the free throw line. The Spartans had 15 assists on 24 baskets and their stunning defense only allowed the Wolverines six assist.
With this win, the Spartans snapped the Wolverines 22 game home win streak. Izzo added of the rivalry, “As John (Beilein) and I talked before the game, this could end up being one of the best rivalries. I know Duke and (North) Carolina have a hundred years on us, but there aren’t a lot of places with two schools both in the state, ranked in the top ten.”
The Spartans won the battle of the boards 33-31. The Spartans had an acceptable 10 turnovers. The Wolverines are normally solid with the ball, but the aforementioned stellar Spartan defense picked up nine Michigan turnovers.
Beilein added, “They made us play poorly and give them all of the credit in the world. We are a pretty good team, but we were not the better team today. We will be able to tell more once we watch the video on some of the easy baskets that we gave up.”
Izzo played eight players including three of his five freshmen. Once again Thomas Kithier was stellar. He played 11 minutes, had two points and three rebounds while playing excellent defense.
The Spartans return to Big Ten action against Indiana this Saturday at NOON in Bloomington. That game can be seen on FOX.
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