Sunday, January 25, 2009

Michigan State Makes Convincing Comeback to Take Down the Buckeyes 78-67

Michigan State bounced back nicely with another road win in the Big Ten. Led by Durrell Summers career high 26 points and Kalin Lucas's 20 second half points, the Spartans came from behind to beat the Buckeyes 78-67. It was a very nice win.

Player of the Game - Durrell Summers 26 points (8-13 FGs, 6-9 3-pt)

What Went Well for MSU:
1) Durrell Summers - Summers had arguably the best Spartan performance of the year so far. His hot shooting single-handedly kept MSU in this game. While I still don't have complete confidence in his outside shooting and would rather see him attack the basket, the fact that he finished 6-9 from distance shows that he is a better shooter than I give him credit for. He provided the outside shooting that I thought was going to be key to winning this game. Hopefully he uses this game as a springboard for the future.
2) Rebounding - Michigan State did even a better job on boards in this game than in the previous contest against the Buckeyes. They finished with a +16 rebounding margin and limited OSU to only 3 offensive rebounds. In the first game, Ohio State managed to grab 12 offensive boards.
3) Kalin Lucas - Like the Spartans, the play of Kalin Lucas was the tale of two halves. In the first half, Lucas had trouble adjusting to coming off of the bench as he and Travis Walton were penalized for not meeting an academic goal. He looked terrible out there missing numerous good looks and turning the ball over several times. In fact, there was a good three or four minute stretch where Izzo stuck with Korie Lucious instead of Lucas due to his poor play. But after halftime, Kalin took over scoring all 20 of his points in the second half. He was able to attack the zone effectively with great penetration and may have been just as valuable as Durrell Summers in getting the victory.
4) Goran Suton - Suton continued to be the unsung hero for the Spartans. He finished with 13 points and 9 rebounds which was impressive given the statures of Dallas Lauderdale and B.J. Mullens down low. While the Buckeye big men probably have more talent, as Clark Kellog pointed out, Suton has more experience and he used it wisely to outperform Lauderdale and Mullens.
5) Free Throw Shooting - The Spartans finished 14-19 from the free throw line, good for 73%.

What Didn't Go Well for MSU:
1) Raymar Morgan - Whether he was sick or not, Raymar Morgan played terribly. He finished 1-4 from the field and with 4 points. Joe Rexrode stated in his blog this morning that Raymar got sick right before the game yesterday. If that is true, then again, why is he playing? There are two possibilities: 1) He doesn't convey how sick he is to Coach Izzo or 2) Coach Izzo is the worst guy ever and makes Morgan play because he thinks that we can't win without him. Yeah, I'm thinking number theory number one also.
2) 3-Pt Defense - The Spartans did not defend well against the three-point shot in this game. The Buckeyes finished 10-20 from behind the arc led by Jon Diebler who was 3-6. I thought Ohio State got way too many open looks as a result of blown coverage, especially on designed plays after a timeout.

"As you can imagine, it's a big win against a quality opponent on the road, especially after coming off that devastating loss last Wednesday." --Tom Izzo

"I was just being aggressive. Coach has been telling me all week - really, all year - just be ready to shoot and be aggressive." --Durrell Summers.

"We played one heck of a basketball team today," Ohio State coach Thad Matta said. "We did some things very well, but we just weren't able to sustain what we needed to do. Credit to Michigan State." --Thad Matta, Ohio State coach.

"It's not very much fun guarding a team for 35 seconds, then they take a shot and get the ball for 35 seconds again," Diebler said. "They're a great basketball team and they made us pay." --Jon Diebler, Ohio State guard, regarding Michigan State offensive rebounding.

Tomorrow - More Ohio State Post Game.

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