The Spartans bury the Gophers 76-47 in a 65-possession game. StatSheet box score.
A very impressive start to the new home-court winning streak, to say the least. MSU did everything we thought they needed to do, and they did it in abundance:
- Knocked down perimeters shots (7-12 on 3-pointers).
- Controlled both the offensive and defensive glass (42-26 overall rebounding advantage).
- Played lock-down man-to-man defense (15-52 FG shooting for the Gophers).
Even when Minnesota did score some points in the second half, they had to make tough shots to do it. The Gophers posted just 6 assists for the entire game; MSU forced them to play one on one. The MSU interior defense was particularly good, as the Gopher big men were held to a collective 5-22 shooting line. Kudos to Delvon Roe, Idong Ibok, Marquise Gray, and Draymond Green for avoiding any breakdowns inside leading to easy baskets.
Your bar graph:
Lots of positives to talk about in terms of individual players in a game in which 14 Spartans saw the court and 11 of those players scored. The highlights:
- Durrell Summers was, once again, the go-to guy on offense. 21 points on 10 FG attempts. He was hot early, and when he’s hot, he’s very hard to stop. 6’4″ players who can jump really, really high and knock down 3-pointers consistently are a rare asset.
- Goran Suton didn’t look too hampered by the knee problem: 6 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, and a block in 19 minutes. A major benefit to the blow-out win was that Izzo could rest Suton for most of the second half.
- Delvon Roe showed some flashes of playmaking in the paint that have been pretty rare in recent games. 6 points and 7 rebounds in 19 minutes, mirroring Suton’s output.
- Chris Allen: 13 points on 7 FG attempts. He still looks a little out of synch, but is at least playing with a modicum of confidence.
- Korie Lucious: 5 points, 3 assists, 1 turnovers. I was actually most impressed with Lucious’ defense; he did a good job of staying in front of Al Nolen when Nolen tried to drive the lane in the second half.
If there was a negative in this game it was that Kalin Lucas looked a little off kilter, making just 4 of 14 FG attempts and turning the ball over 3 times. That’s a very small concern in a 31-point win, though, especially given that Lucas is coming off four consecutive 20-point outings.
This game was just what the doctor ordered. A home game against Indiana on Saturday (4:00, ESPN) should provide another chance to keep Raymar Morgan on the bench and limit Suton’s minutes (the Hoosiers’ big win tonight notwithstanding). With any luck, we’ll be back at full strength for next Tuesday’s trip down I-96.