The Michigan State Spartans improved to (9-2) on the season, in a fast-paced high scoring battle with the Phoenix of Wisconsin-Green Bay. The Spartans were able to survive the punches from a very capable opponent as the Spartans won 104-83. After jumping out to a 64-35 halftime lead, the Spartans came out a little sloppy in the second half, allowing the Phoenix to get the lead trimmed down to 21 before the end of the game. Here are some major takeaways from the Spartans victory.
Nick Ward Continues to dominate
Nick Ward continued his impressive run in the last few games. Ward has shot 28-31 from the field in the last three games combined. He nearly had himself his first career 30-point performance, along with nearly finishing a perfect 12-12 from the field. Along with his 28 points, Ward stuffed the statistics column with nine rebounds, one assist, and four blocks. He has looked very impressive at both ends of the floor, as he has gotten up and down the court, rather easily, including going for 26 minutes in this game. If Ward can keep it up, he could be in for a huge season.
The Freshman Step-up
It has been an up and down season, for the five Spartan freshmen, as Aaron Henry has gotten a most of the minutes for the freshman, averaging 15 minutes per game. The rest of the freshman cast was able to get decent playing time in this game and were able to put off some solid numbers. Though Henry didn’t score, he had a rebound and added three assists and a steal. Foster Loyer looked the best he has in his short Spartan career, as he was able to score 10 points with a made three-pointer along with going five for five at the free throw line. Gabe Brown looked like a sharpshooter as he went for 11 points including knocking down three of his four three-pointers. Marcs Bingham Jr added a point, two rebounds, one assist, and three huge blocks. Expect more with two more non-conference games this month.
The captains senior Matt McQuaid and junior Joshua Langford, put in valiant efforts, as each recorded double figures in scoring. McQuaid tied his season-high with 12 points, in only his second game back, from a thigh injury, after missing the previous three games. Langford was able to finish with 13 points and continues his impressive season, where he has recorded double digits in scoring in every game so far this season. Cassius Winston looked like a floor general, once again on his way to a 16 point and 12 assists double-double, it marks his third of the season. He was also able to pull down six rebounds as well. Xavier Tillman played effectively once again as he went for six points, eight rebounds, two assists, three steals, and three blocks, as he was able to stuff the stat book in every category. Even though Kenny Goins doesn’t stuff the scoring mark, this guy is a key for this team, as he is the top rebounder as he added nine rebounds, along with three assists and two blocks. The Spartans have got it going on right now on both ends of the floor.
The Spartans are back in action on Friday, December 21st, with a big match-up with the Oakland Grizzlies at the Breslin Center. Based on previous meetings between these teams, we could be in for yet another big battle between these teams, who always put on a good show when they square-off. Check out the action Friday Night.