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Spartans Get Back on Track with a 75-57 Win Over PSU


Tonight the Spartans best player led them to a big win and back on track for the NCAA tournament.  Photo courtesy of Mark Boomgaard.

Tonight the Spartans best player led them to a big win and back on track for the NCAA tournament. Photo courtesy of Mark Boomgaard.



Breslin Center

East Lansing, MI  75-57


If you were stuck in a Star Trek time warp for the first 23 games of the MSU season and just came out of it in time for tonight’s game you were not surprised. If you didn’t have the pleasure of missing those games you saw tonight what the nation expected out of MSU this season.


Their defense was intense, their shots were on, and they passed and looked like a top five team that they were at the start. They dominated a Penn State Nittany Lions that had beaten them by four just 33 days ago. They played like Michigan State basketball.


Izzo was obviously delighted and looked it afterwards. Relieved he said of his team’s performance, “I was very pleased with a lot of the game. We talked about wanting to go inside early and the defensive intensity had to go up. The intensity was phenomenal…Baby steps. We haven’t conquered the world.”


Ed DeChellis the fine coach of the Lions said of the contest, “We played our worst of the season. Credit them they played with a lot of emotion…they took the ball inside at us and scored at will. I will give them credit, they played really well.”


Draymond Green led the Spartans with a triple double. He had 15 points, 10 assists and 14 rebounds. He was just the third Spartan to record a triple double. The other two were Magic Johnson and Charlie Bell.


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Green said of his performance, “I didn’t want to focus on it until is started hurting the team. Now that I got my first (triple double) I’m going to try to catch Magic.” Earvin had 8 career triple doubles.  


Izzo chimed in on his star juniors play by saying, “It’s exciting to see Day Day get a triple double because that doesn’t happen around here very often.”


Delvon Roe scored 15 and had three boards, but he had a scare. Already playing on two bad knees that are getting fluid drained off of them on a regular basis, he had a bad fall. Somehow he was able to get up, but was visibly in pain. He was obviously upset and said after the game to me, “I don’t know man,” when I asked him how he was feeling.


Roe was injured on a long pass from Green and after the game Draymond followed him straight to the training room. Green told me later in the locker room, “If I have to be at his house icing his knee tonight I will.”


Kalin Lucas was back to his old self. He had 24 points, and played the entire 40 minutes of the game. Kalin said of his health and minutes, “I am feeling better and better each game.” Izzo said of his minutes, “I apologized to him after the game.” 


Ten Spartans played significant minutes and they out rebounded the Lions by a 38-23 margin.


When asked by one of my colleagues after the game what woke up his Spartans, Izzo referenced Lions head coach Jim Schwartz who sat in the Izzone tonight. “I think Jim scared them. Maybe I need to bring him up here more often.”


One of my Twitter followers that goes by the handle of Lions Winter perhaps said it best during the game when he sent me this message: “Now that basketball season's started, glad to see MSU hasn't missed a beat.” That pretty much sums up tonight and the season.


The Spartans are still in contention for the NCAA tournament and I expect them to make it. They next play the #1 team in the nation on the road, the Ohio State Buckeyes on Tuesday.