Michigan State bounced back from its loss to No. 3 Kansas in a big way on Friday night, dominating Western Michigan in a 90-46 victory.
The Spartans shook off an early 15-9 deficit, going on a 9-0 run to take an 18-15 lead with 11:51 left in the first half. Michigan State never looked back from there, outscoring the Broncos, 28-10, to close the opening frame with a 46-25 advantage.
The second half was mostly mop-up duty, as the Spartans outscored Western Michigan by 23 points in the second frame. With the victory, Michigan State moves to 1-1 on the young season.
1. Marcus Bingham dominates from the post
Tom Izzo called out Marcus Bingham Jr. after the Kansas game, noting that the senior forward was falling in love with the three-point shot. On Friday against Western Michigan, Bingham Jr. planted himself in the post and dominated the Broncos inside. The senior finished with 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting, while grabbing 8 rebounds. The senior was good on the defensive end too with 2 steals and 2 blocks. This was an example of Izzo putting his foot down as a coach, and clearly the 27-year veteran knows what he's doing with Bingham Jr. The senior will knock down a three-point shot from time-to-time this season, but he'll do the majority of his damage from the block, and that's what happened tonight.
2. Tyson Walker bounces back
Walker had a disappointing debut for the Spartans against Kansas. The transfer from Northeastern scored just 2 points on 1-of-3 shooting and turned the ball over 3 times. But Walker looked much more comfortable tonight, and his play reflected that. He finished with 9 points on 4-of-7 shooting and handed out 5 assists. It was nice to see Walker settle in to his role on Friday night, and hopefully tonight's performance is a sign of things to come. Also, AJ Hoggard had a nice effort off the bench with 7 points, 7 assists and 4 rebounds. That's good production from the point guard position for the Spartans.
3. Brown, Hauser turn in strong performances
Veterans Gabe Brown and Joey Hauser both turned in strong all-around performances for the Spartans. Brown led the Spartans in scoring with 17 points on 5-of-10 shooting, while adding 7 rebounds and a steal. Hauser, meanwhile, turned in a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds to lead Michigan State's effort on the boards. The Spartans dominated the glass against Western Michigan with a 58-28 edge on the glass, and these two, along with Bingham Jr., were the catalyst for that.
4. Spartans get defensive
Michigan State got after it on the defensive end tonight. The Broncos knocked down a few shots early, but the Spartans put the clamps on from there. Western Michigan shot just 27 percent in the first half (10-of-37) and 26.5 percent for the game (18-of-68). Michigan State was fantastic at the defensive end tonight. The Broncos never got in any sort of rhythm offensively and struggled to find any open looks. The Spartans limited easy baskets to a minimum, and made Western work for every bucket they got.
5. MSU gets to the charity stripe
Izzo didn't like the Spartans poor shooting percentage at the foul line against Kansas, and it was clear that was a point of emphasis for Michigan State tonight. After going 9-of-16 against the Jayhawks, the Spartans knocked down 18-of-24 attempts against Western Michigan. Clearly this was a "get-right" game for Michigan State in a lot of areas, and the Spartans did just that. Hopefully this will be a performance that inspires confidence and the start to some momentum moving forward.