Spartans Roll On Senior Night Pounding the Hawkeyes 85-66

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It has been a hard season, but a great career for Durrell Summers, Kalin Lucas and Mike Kebler.  Photo courtesy of Starr Portice.

It has been a hard season, but a great career for Durrell Summers, Kalin Lucas and Mike Kebler. Photo courtesy of Starr Portice.

 

Breslin Center

East Lansing, MI

 

It was senior night here at the Breslin this evening and the Spartans won, as I predicted, by double digits 85 to 66.

 

All three seniors exited the court kissing the center Spartan ICON to a raucous crowd. Kalin Lucas ended with 17 points, 15 in the second half. Durrell Summers had seven.

 

Izzo said of his three seniors (Kalin Lucas, Mike Kebler and Durrell Summers) after the game, “they really did deliver. I am never going to be happy. I always want more. I am kinda hoping we have some basketball left to play. I learned a lot from this team.”

 

This Spartan class has already won 103 games in their careers with more left this season. The 2001 class has the most wins ever with 115. This class has won back-to-back Big Ten Titles and went to back-to-back Final Fours (one of them being a national title game in 2009) both in 2009 and 2010 with the 2011 post season still to play.

 

Among all the senior classes in the nation, this Spartan class has the best post season NCAA record at 11-3. Don’t forget that they still have a chance to improve it this season.

 

The pleasantries were nice, but frankly this team needed a win and got it. Izzo said of his team’s performance, “It wasn’t pretty early. Early on we didn’t play real sharp. Our subs really helped us. Of course Nix, Payne and Appling hitting those shots is really helping. It was a good team win. We wouldn’t have probably won without our bench.”

 

Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery who’s Hawkeyes humiliated the Spartans only one month ago (02/02/11) and said of the game, “We couldn’t make a free throw, couldn’t make a three, it is hard to win. We just had a bad night. If you are going to beat this team, especially here, your intensity as to be like the first half.”

 

After the game I caught up with the three seniors and Kalin Lucas said of the evening, “I have mixed emotions. Happy and excited, but at the same time sad.” 

Durrell Summers summed his emotions by saying, “I am so appreciative of being a Spartan and what this opportunity meant to me. I am going to miss it. 

Finally former walk on Mike Kebler, the local kid who made it reflected on being a senior by saying, “I definitely have savored the moments. (Kissing the floor) it definitely felt good to do that.”

 

On senior night there was hope for the future. Keith Appling was amazing leading the team with 18 points. He also had six rebounds. Despite being injured (ankle early in the game) and hobbling, Draymond Green had eight rebounds and twelve points. Garrick Sherman had seven points, Adreian Payne had eight and Derrick Nix added nine.

 

Here is an amazing stat. The Spartan bench outscored the Hawkeyes 42-12.

 

The Spartans improved their season record to 17-12 (9-8) and tip it off for the last time in the regular season on Saturday in Ann Arbor against the Wolverines at 2 PM.