East Lansing, MI – Four days ago, Michigan State basketball suffocated Duke defensively, beating them on the road for the first time.
On Friday, the Spartans looked lethargic; much of what MSU did against the Blue Devils was now being done to them by Detroit Mercy.
Inside an empty Breslin Center, home-court advantage was non-existent and UDM, led by rising star Antoine Davis, hung around well into the second half.
The sophomore from Detroit delivered, scoring in spurts and setting up his teammates for critical baskets late, including a three-pointer by Brown with 23.8 seconds remaining.
"I told Rocket after the game that was the best I'd seen him play, ever," said Izzo. "He was under control, he made good plays, he made great decisions, and he played phenomenal defense."
Watts shot 57% from the field (8-of-14), scoring 23 while dishing out four assists and grabbing four rebounds.
Starting in place of Joshua Langford, who sat out due to a sore knee, Brown ended his night with a career-high 16 points.
"Me and Rocket just wanted to have grit," Brown told reporters in a videoconference. "We wanted to get the team back on track and really just try to get stops. I mean, he's a great point guard, and he found me on a couple good plays."
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