Kalin Lucas Wills the Spartans To a 61-57 Win Over Illinois

Hondo S. Carpenter

 

Kalin Lucas did it all for the Spartans tonight at the Breslin Center with the nation watching.  Photo courtesy of Mark Boomgaard.
Kalin Lucas did it all for the Spartans tonight at the Breslin Center with the nation watching. Photo courtesy of Mark Boomgaard.

 

Breslin Center

East Lansing, MI

 

With Draymond Green sick and the Spartans not being able to afford dropping this game, a great player did what the great players do in great games. Kalin Lucas with essentially no offensive help willed the Spartans to the win. He had 25 points in what I believe was one of the best all around games of his career. Having seen almost all of his collegiate games from a courtside seat I think I am in a place to say that.

 

He played defense, he tried to get his teammates involved and when they couldn’t help he just took over. Illinois head coach Bruce Weber said of the Spartan Nation’s star performance, “Obviously Kalin Lucas was special…He is tough to deal with…He is carrying the team right now…Back to where he was.”

 

Coach Izzo wasted no time praising his senior who for the first time this season from bell to bell played like his old self prior to the Achilles injury. “I told him that he had to be an iron man and that I couldn’t take him out…Gritty, gutty win by a team that has two players that were sick and hurt.” He went on to elaborate about his star, “Good to see the speed back, good to see the swagger back.”

 

Lucas played 39 of the games 40 minutes, had two assists, but should have had many more if his teammates had made shots. No one else for MSU even scored in double digits. This was a warrior performance from a warrior. 

 

Lucas talked about his performance after the game, “One thing I was just trying to do was create for my teammates and myself as well…I feel like every week I get better and better. I am still doing a little of my rehab and it’s starting to feel a lot better…We are just taking one game at a time…We just had to play aggressive the entire game. Dive on the ground getting loose balls, playing tough and physical.”

 

I have said for about two weeks that the Spartans will get to 18 regular season wins and I stand by that. This win takes them to 15 and they have four games left. Their next is Tuesday in Minneapolis against the Gophers at 9 PM. This team IS going dancing people. 

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