Spartans Roll to 6-2 With 74-39 Blowout of Bowling Green

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The Spartans won, but their ugly turnovers could keep them from a title.  They had 21 today.  Photo courtesy of Mark Boomgaard.

The Spartans won, but their ugly turnovers could keep them from a title. They had 21 today. Photo courtesy of Mark Boomgaard.

 

East Lansing -- It took Michigan State awhile to get going, but when it did, it showed why it's one of the best teams in the country.

The Spartans (6-2) overcame 12 first-half turnovers and outscored Bowling Green 49-20 in the second half on their way to a 74-39 victory Saturday at the Breslin Center.

It was another slow start for the Spartans, who played at No. 1 Duke on Wednesday and head to New York on Tuesday to play No. 8 Syracuse.

But Tom Izzo knows why his team had a hard time on Saturday.

"You look back at the travel and it has been brutal," Izzo said. "I'm definitely going to be meeting with my AD to figure out how I can do a better job, because it's not fair to the guys.

"Somebody's going to read into that and think it's a big frickin excuse and it's not. It really isn't this time."

It has been a tough road for the Spartans.

Over the last 12 days, the Spartans played three games in three days in Maui before heading back to East Lansing and playing Tennessee Tech last Sunday. Michigan State then hit the road again to play at No. 1 Duke on Wednesday before Saturday's game against Bowling Green.

"If I've learned one thing it's that I might be the dumbest scheduler in America," said Izzo, whose team plays No. 8 Syracuse in New York on Tuesday. "My team is tired. It's not an excuse."

It's a schedule that has hurt guard Kalin Lucas the most. Lucas is still recovering from a ruptured Achilles suffered in last spring's NCAA Tournament and has also had minor injuries to his ankle and knee this season and when the second half started, he was on the floor, but it didn't last long.

"The poor guy is just drained and he asked not to play in the second half," Izzo said. "His foot was a little sore, but that wasn't the problem. He was just wiped out, unless we needed him.

"The only surprise this season is that it hasn't been bothering him more than it has. … I think he was just mentally drained and physically sore. You can tell it's not a lack of conditioning, because he's conditioned as well as he can. It is not lack of effort. It is not lack of practice time. When he accelerated his wheels were spinning like a car in the U.P. It just wasn't going."

Lucas came out of the game with 17:18 to play in the game. What was almost as significant as him not playing the rest of the way was the fact he didn't have a single point.

The only other time Lucas went a game without scoring was his freshman season, when he was held scoreless against Iowa.

"I knew I had the doughnut," said Lucas, who played 15 minutes. "But at the same time, it's not about my stats, it's about me trying to recover and get healthy and ready for the bigger games, get ready for Syracuse."

On Saturday against Bowling Green (1-7), it was a decisive 21-1 run early in the second half that put the game away.

It started with a 3-pointer by Summers and ended with a layup by Korie Lucious. In between, freshman Keith Appling had two 3-pointers and Summers and Lucious added another. Michigan State led 46-24 at that point, and the rout was on.

Summers finished with 14 points while Appling had 11 and Delvon Roe scored 10.