East Lansing, MI – Saturday night's game against Notre Dame may have started slow for the Michigan State Spartans, but they soon turned it up a notch.
MSU ended the half on a 17-0 run and headed towards the locker room, having outrebounded the Fighting Irish 27-19, blocked ten shots, stole the ball six times, and tallied 13 assists on 14 baskets.
At one point, the Spartans extended the run to 26-0, holding Notre Dame scoreless from the 7:12 mark of the first half.
Defensively, MSU kept PG Prentiss Hubb (the focal point of ND's offense) in check as he finished with 23 points on 22 attempts.
Cormac Ryan, a transfer from Stanford and talented wing, was also quiet for the majority of the first 20-minutes – after hitting his initial two shots from deep, he remained scoreless for the next 17-minutes and went 0-6 from the field.
Offensively, Joey Hauser pulled in his first career double-double (12 boards with three minutes left before intermission), and Aaron Henry, who Tom Izzo wanted more shots from, pulled up 11 times for 14 points, eight rebounds, and three assists.
Then Rocket Watts began feeling himself, knocking down back-to-back three-pointers, not to mention single-handedly locking up Hubbs all night, while scoring 13-points and dishing out six assists (tying a career-high).
Another solid night of work from MSU, they now lead the all-time series 62-37, but still trail Notre Dame by a single game in East Lansing (25-24); although it's unclear when the Spartans will have a chance to eclipse it considering these two have only competed three times since 1979.
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