Behind five players in double-digits, Michigan State cruise to their eleventh straight win by beating Long Beach State 102 to 60. This marks the first time that the Spartans have scored back to back 100 point games since the 2004-05 season when they did against Wisconsin-Green Bay (104) and Nicholls State (102).
Josh Langford and Miles Bridges led the way for the Spartans by each putting together 17 point performances. Nick Ward added 16 on 7 of 8 shooting from the field while Jaren Jackson Jr. and Cassius Winston each scored 13 points.
“I thought Miles (Bridges) and Nick (Ward) played really well early,” said Michigan State coach Tom Izzo. “I thought Josh (Langford) played well early as well.”
“You have to pick your poison with them,” said Long Beach State coach Dan Monson. “You have to hope they have an off-shooting night.”
Long Beach State’s leading scorer, Gabe Levin once again led the way for the 49ers with a team high 14 points.
With the victory Michigan State improves to 12-1 on the year while the 49ers fall to 5-9 on the year.
After the first 20 minutes, Michigan State went into the half with a 48-32 lead.
After an opening basket by Long Beach State’s Barry Ogalue, the Spartans went on a 10-0 run that spanned over three minutes to take an early 10-2 lead with 15:47 remaining. Winston was instrumental in distributing the ball during that run, tallying four assists through the first four minutes of the contest. The run also included yet another highlight-reel dunk by Bridges, who may have gotten his head above the rim to slam home a put-back dunk.
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Through the first 10 minutes, the 49ers were able to keep within single-digits of Michigan State. From the 11:24 mark until there was 7:47 remaining in the first half, the Spartans went on a 10-2 run, culminating in their first double-digit lead of the contest at 28-17. Michigan State’s first half lead got as high as 17 points when Langford nailed one of his two first half three-pointers. Langford was one of two Spartans to finish the first 20 minutes in double digits. He went into the break with 11 on 4 of 5 shooting, only to be outdone by Ward who went into the half with a team-leading 12 points on 5 of 6 shooting with his only miss coming at the first half buzzer.
Izzo stressed after Monday’s game against Houston Baptist that his team needed to control the ball more and be more aggressive on the boards. Though the Spartans dominated the 49ers on the glass with a 20-8 first half advantage, they continued to be careless with the ball by recording nine turnovers in the first 20 minutes. The Spartans however did manage to clean it up in the second half, finishing with 12 total for the least they have committed since the six they coughed up against Nebraska on Dec 3.
“We did not do as good of a job in that area as I’de like us too,” said Izzo. “That is the only negative. The good part is we only had three in the second half.”
Just as they had done to open the game, the Spartans came out of break and went on an early run following an opponent basket. After Gabe Levin had opened the half with a jump-shot, Michigan State followed with a 7-0 run that saw Winston scoring the first five and capped off with a Ward dunk culminating in MSU’s first 20 point lead at 55-34 with 18:03 remaining.
Midway through the second half the Spartans stretched their lead past 30 with their second 7-0 run in the half and led 76-45 with 9:35 remaining. Michigan State’s lead got as high as 43 with under three minutes remaining.
The Spartans finished 61 percent from the field (39 of 64), the second highest mark they have recorded this season only to be outdone by the 64 percent they shot against Houston Baptist on Monday. The 49ers finished 41 percent from the field, the second highest allowed by MSU’s defense this season (44 percent against Notre Dame).
Michigan State will be off until Dec 29. when they host Cleveland State.