Tuesday, February 9, 2016

MSU/Purdue game

Watching the Purdue game and the Spartans are getting absolutely wrecked so far. They can't buy a basket, are struggling with both Purdue's defensive intensity and their big men, and have been slow on defensive switches allowing the Boilermakers' guards to bury a barrage of 3-pointers. The only bright side so far is that Hammons and Swanigan are on the bench with two fouls.
McQuaid misses two shots from 3-point range. MSU is ice cold so far tonight. If matters don't improve soon, MSU will get run out of the building.

46-30 halftime deficit. A terrible first half for MSU, as they are getting owned by Purdue's bigs and the Boilermakers are shooting a scalding 63% from the field. This has Iowa (games one and two) written all over it unless the Spartans can somehow turn it around in the second half.

The Spartans fight and claw back in the second half, and actually take a four point lead late in the game, but can't hang on and lose 82-81 in overtime. It's a heartbreaker, but a team just can't dig as big a hole as MSU did in the first half and expect to win.

Any shot at winning or tying for the conference title is over. Now, just hope to regroup at home on Sunday and beat a very good Indiana team.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Spartans blow out the Wolverines

I'm not sure that anybody saw that coming.

Michigan State absolutely hammered Michigan 89-73 at Crisler Arena and it wasn't really that close. Bryn Forbes impersonated Stephen Curry once again, Matt Costello continued his hard-nosed spirited play, Denzel Valentine showed everyone that he's back to his old self, and Michigan State looks like they officially have their mojo back.

I fully expected Michigan to give the Spartans everything they had, and thought the game may not be decided until the last one or two minutes of the game. Instead, the game was essentially over after about the first five minutes. Michigan did go on a bit of a mini-run late in the first half to cut the lead to eleven, but that was as close as they got. The Spartans led by 16 at halftime, got out of the gate quickly in the second half, built the lead to 30 late in the second half, and the deceptively closer score was a result of sloppy play by MSU's bench players.

From this fan's perspective, this is exactly what I needed after Michigan stole all the attention on football signing day. It actually was a great week for Spartans sports, with the MSU women's hoops team throttling Michigan mid-week, and the Spartan hockey team recording a rare victory when they slipped past the Wolverines in overtime, 3-2 on Friday night. (Unfortunately, the Spartan icers fell back to earth...or ice?...on Saturday night when they lost 4-1 to the Wolverines at Munn. Of course, I was glowing from the basketball win so I took this loss quite well).

But back to Spartan basketball. If you're a fan, you have to feel good about how this team looks right now. Clearly, the road game against Purdue will be a tough game, but one the Spartans can win, With the way the senior triumvirate of Costello, Forbes, and Valentine are playing, a win at Mackey Arena is certainly not out of the question.