"We ran our plays, everyone got a lot of minutes, a lot of game minutes".
But Michigan State finished the half on a 15-3 run - and the game on a 62-32 run - en route to its 15th win of the season. Michigan State keyed on both Cowan and Huerter in the second half, throwing double-teams their way and forcing both to speed up in half-court sets. The Spartans recorded 30 assists on those 32 baskets. Russell LaBounty, USA TODAY Sports Dec 4, 2017; Columbus, OH, USA; Michigan's Charles Matthews dunks during the second half against Ohio State at Value City Arena. "When they can be that deep and they can shoot the ball from all positions and the low post game is still good, they're tough to guard". Freshman Jaren Jackson had 15 points, three blocks and two steals despite sitting out all but four minutes of the opening half due to foul trouble.
WHAT IT MEANS: Michigan State's last four games, a series of 40- and 50-point wins against some of the worst teams in the nation, don't seem to have been a fluke. Games featuring the Spartans have a slight tendency to go over the O/U total (53.8 percent).
"That's another weapon we have that has not been exploited yet", Izzo said. "We're just going to have to learn and get better every day".
Freshman Eli Brooks started at point guard and scored five points early in the first half for the Wolverines.
Another surprising aspect of the game was the play of the bench. Langford finished with 8 points on the night. Maryland tightened up around the paint on the next two defensive possessions, and the Spartans kicked two straight passes to Matt McQuaid behind the arc in the corner.
SIUE beats Eastern Kentucky • Jalen Henry scored a career-high 35 points on 13-of-18 shooting and SIU Edwardsville ended a three-game skid and beat Eastern Kentucky 85-82 in Richmond, Ky.
"Players that weren't even on our scouting reports were hitting big shots for them", Cowan said. "To have that kind of contribution off the bench, that's hard to find anywhere". We have not been through something like that as a group with a team of that caliber coming into our place.
Turnovers have been a huge problem for the Spartans, and according to Tom Izzo, is one of a few weaknesses that can keep the team from winning a title.
The Spartans biggest lead was 22, 63-41 under 14 minutes to go and it was going to take a miracle for Maryland to come back. Its interior defense is the best in the country and its 3-point defense has improved.
The Spartans (8-12-1, 2-8-1-1) broke through just past the midway point of the third period when Brennan Sanford scored on a snapshot to make it 4-1. The Spartans held the Tigers to an offensive rebounding percentage of 18.9 (below their season average of 24.8) and had an effective field goal percentage of 0.686 (above their season average of 0.597). Turgeon described the Spartans' defense as terrific. "They played me straight up".
"We wanted to get something out of this weekend after last night and came up a little short", MSU head coach Danton Cole said. Michigan State is playing at a very high level right now, scoring 97 points per game at home.