Spartans Recover From Brutal First Half to Beat Lowly Tuskegee 92-56, On a Night With Real American Heroes Sitting Courtside

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East Lansing, MI

Jenison Fieldhouse

As the #19 ranked team in the nation the Michigan State Spartans came into this game at nostalgic Jenison Fieldhouse against a division two Tuskegee with nothing to prove. The Spartans alphabet soup schedule continues as they march towards the real season.  That marched continued to include playing down to their level of competition and a turnover buffet that has Coach Izzo less than thrilled.

Izzo bluntly said of his team’s terrible first half performance that that had them up only 33-26 at the half, “Didn’t play well in the first half.” They eventually settled down and that led to a 92-56 blowout win. For the game the Spartans ended up with 22 turnovers and a coach that doesn’t like it.

Izzo said of the contest, “Second half played better. I am excited that we move into a point in our season where there a no more games you should win. They’re all a dogfight.”

Tuskegee head coach Leon Douglass, a former Piston first round draft pick said of the Spartans, “I think they are a top ten team.”

I don’t care if MSU would have won by 200 or lost by 200 that wasn’t really the story here. Four of the original Tuskegee Airmen, true American heroes were in the house to celebrate the original game of change in 1963.Â

I have been to the White House on multiple occasions, I have met four American Presidents, been to multiple Super Bowls, World Series, Stanley Cup Playoffs, NBA finals, Final Four’s and national title games to go along with having met every imaginable sports celebrity and other people of note. As your humble correspondent I can tell you this was the most humbling moment. To have met THE Tuskegee Airmen here at Jenison, real heroes, was humbling.

America needs more heroes today and I don’t mean politicians. I mean the true heroes who love this nation and are willing to die for her. These folks are the living treasures who loved their country at a time that their country didn’t love them as much as they loved her. God Bless those folks.

The loudest cheers of the weekend came early in this game. The Tuskegee Airmen and their families were guests of MSU Athletic Director Mark Hollis and they were all sitting on the perfect courtside seats. During a first half timeout they introduced all of them over the loud speakers. The Spartan Nation rose in pride and with a thunderous ovation greeted them. It was amazing.

Izzo called it, “Amazing. Thank God for them.  It was amazing. That ovation!” Coach Douglas called being a part of this weekend, “A history lesson. Beneficial to me and my players.”  Humility was the name of the game for the heroes who didn’t want to talk about themselves or their actions.

Douglas told an amazing story. He is a friend of a former manager on the Mississippi State team for the original game of change in 1963. He said that he invited the man to come speak to his team before they made the trip up to East Lansing this week. The man relayed the story of how they sent the managers in a car to Memphis trying to draw the crowds and media to follow them so the players could sneak out of the state to get to Michigan and play Loyola.Â

The Spartans go right back at it on Tuesday night as they head to Bowling Green. Yes you read that right, they are heading to Bowling Green. That game is a 7 PM tipoff and that game can be seen on ESPNU. Spartan Nation will be there.