Xavier Tillman Post Disappointing Home Loss To Maryland
Hondo S. Carpenter
East Lansing, MI
The #25 Michigan State Spartans hosted ESPN Gameday this morning and fell at home. #9 Maryland came out on fire and dropped the Spartans 67-60. The loss takes the men in green’s season record and conference record to 17-9 (9-5).
The Terrapins went on a 14-0 run over the last 3:08 of the game to rip the heart out of a raucous Breslin Center crowd. On a night that honored the 2000 National Champion team and their legendary toughness, the Spartans lost to a tougher team.
The Spartans have lost four of their last five and the last two at home.
The Spartans had two players score in double-digits and were led by a double-double from Xavier Tillman who had 18 points and 11 rebounds. Cassius Winston had 14 points.
Tom Izzo said, “First of all give Maryland credit. Championship teams make championship plays down the stretch. I thought Rocket Watts played unbelievable defense. They deserved to win the game, we deserved to lose it. Xavier looks like he played a good game on paper, we played him to death because we have to."
Maryland Coach Mark Turgeon said of the contest, "Anytime you can come into this building and beat a man who is the best coach of his generation is exciting. Felt like (Xavier) Tillman was having a career night and we just gutted it out. Their ball screen defense was terrific."
The men in the green lost the battle of the boards to the Terps by a margin of 35-34. The Spartans had a respectable eight turnovers.
The Spartan defense allowed Maryland to shoot 41% from the field and 36% from three.
Izzo added of his team's struggles down the final stretch of the game, “We had some guys taking threes that shouldn't have. We are finding ways to win, instead of finding ways to win. Some of it is my fault and some of it is their fault. Sometimes you need some guys to step up. I don't think some guys competed. One guy who did compete and I should have played him more was Kyle Ahrens." The Turtle had the lead in the 40 minutes of the game for 29:47. The Spartans led for 9:31. In all Tom Izzo played 11 players. Eight of them scored.
Izzo’s men had 13 assists on 23 baskets. The Spartans shot 21% from three, 42% from the field and 71% from the charity stripe.
The team will return to the hard-court Thursday, February 20, 2020, in Lincoln, Nebraska at the Pinnacle Center. They will be taking on the Nebraska Cornhuskers. It can be seen on FS1 at 8:30 PM ET.
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