Michigan State did something that no team has done since 2010.
Win at Ohio State.
The No. 12 ranked Spartans battered the No. 3 Buckeyes Saturday night to snap Ohio State’s 39 home-game winning streak. The streak was the second-longest in the nation, only behind Kentucky.
Ohio State center Jared Sullinger and Michigan State center Adreian Payne go way back. The two both grew up in Ohio and have been playing against each other ever since AAU.
It was a personal battle for Payne, who was playing in front of his home state. Payne played excellent defense on Sullinger, and it was clear that Sullinger was frustrated with the physical play by the Spartan defense.
Payne was a force for the Spartans on the offensive side of the ball as well, scoring a career-high 15 points. Sullinger was able to get his points with 17 and rebounds with 16, but the duo of Payne and Derrick Nix caused Sullinger to turn the ball over a career-high 10 times. Sullinger looked dazed on the offensive side and scored most of his points on easy put backs.
Tom Izzo directs his team courtesy of the NY Daily
Tom Izzo doesn’t usually get emotional when he accomplishes something for himself. He saves it for when his team or a player reaches a milestone but, with under a minute left in No. 10 Michigan State’s (17-4, 6-2) victory over Minnesota (15-6, 3-5) Tom Izzo was tearing up on the bench.
The game itself was entertaining for Spartan fans. The Spartans only trailed once in the game and that was 3-2. MSU shot 54% from the field and out rebounded Minnesota 32-24 to a 68-52 victory.
Freshman Branden Dawson continued his recent strong play scoring 16 points with a few rim rattling dunks sprinkled in.
The real star of the game was senior forward Draymond Green.
The Saginaw native scored 22 points, grabbed 14 rebounds, and had 6 assists. While Green is used to impressing the Izzone and Tom Izzo, he also impressed Minnesota’s head coach Tubby Smith.
Smith recruited Green heavily when Smith was coaching at Kentucky. Smith talked to the Lansing State Journal after the game.
Head coach Tom Izzo huddles with guards Travis Trice, and Brandon Wood
No. 6 Michigan State (15-2, 4-0) travels to Evanston on Saturday to play the Northwestern Wildcats (11-5, 1-3).
The Spartans haven’t lost since Nov. 15th. During that stretch the Spartans have won 15 straight games – the second best single season streak under Tom Izzo, only second to the 1999 streak of 22.
The Spartans are continuing a pleasant trend of being unselfish with the basketball.
The team ranks 14th in the nation with 16.8 assists per game.
Against Iowa, the Spartans passed the ball well and found the open man often. That led to MSU shooting 10/18 from three point range, a season best.
Northwestern is coming off two tough losses.
Against Illinois, guard Drew Crawford drove to the lane and attempted a game winning shot, only to have it blocked as time expired.
Michigan State celebrates during a team huddle
After Michigan State lost it’s first two opening games against #1 North Carolina on an aircraft carrier in front of the President Of The United States, and against #6 Duke in Madison Square Garden when Coach K was trying to become the winningest coach in college basketball history, the Spartans made a commitment to each other.
“We’ve gone from nothing to something,” sophomore guard Keith Appling said. “When we hung around against North Carolina and Duke, we made a commitment that we’re not going to lose any more.”
They were serious. The Spartans’ commitment holds strong as they haven’t lost in nearly 2 months.
No. 7 Michigan State (15-2, 4-0) crushed the Iowa Hawkeyes (10-8, 2-3) 95-61 on Tuesday night at the Breslin Center.
Five players from Michigan State scored in double figures during the rout.