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A Tale of Two Halves - MSU 74, Bowling Green 39

MSU buried Bowling Green under an avalanche of outside shots in the second half, putting up 49 points (to almost double their first half output of 25) in cruising to a 74-39 victory.

MSU led only 25-19 after a burn-the-tape first half that featured 50% more turnovers (12) than field goals made (8) and a shooting percentage of 29% for the Spartans. Although Bowling Green's trapping zone led to some of the turnovers, there were plenty of the boneheaded variety to go around. And they were well-distributed, with 8 Spartan players having a turnover at halftime. MSU righted the ship after that (despite turnovers in their first two second-half possessions) and cruised to the win, finishing with a distasteful 21 turnovers for the game, their 4th game over 20 and second in a row.

The game featured, as might be expected with the zone, a season high 49% of shots being taken from 3-point range, of which the Spartans hit enough (43%) to win going away. Another positive sign for MSU was 21 assists on 26 field goals made. They showed a lot of patience passing the ball around the perimeter (after doing a lot of trying to pass over the top of the zone in the first half) till they got open looks.

  • Durrell Summers led the scoring with 14 points on 12 shots, including 4 of 11 from three
  • Draymond Green had a double-double with 10 points and 12 boards (3 offensive), along with 5 assists and 2 TOs
  • Keith Appling had 11 points on 9 shots to go with 3 assists
  • Korie Lucious had some nice passes, to go with one that he almost threw into the tunnel in the first half, to finish with 6 assists and 8 points
  • Austin Thornton had 5 offensive rebounds (6 total) to go with his 9 points

Four factors graph after the jump.


MSU basically won this with their shooting. Combined with a defense that forced BGSU into a 40.9 31.8 eFG% this was enough to give the Spartans the easy win. The Falcons were reduced to a tough, contested shot on each trip with few second chances. And the Spartans managed to play this level of defense without fouling as BGSU only got 9 free-throw attempts, making just 4 of them. I have to say, the Spartans SEEMED a lot more dominant on the boards than their 1.6% edge in OR% would lead one to believe. MSU was, in fact, more dominant than my incorrectly posted four-factors graph would suggest. They dominated the offensive boards 52.9% to 23.3%, which went a long way to limiting the BGSU offense to 1 shot per trip.

The Spartans were also able to rest some key players, as Kalin Lucas logged only 15 minutes, failing to score for the first time since January, 2008. He was tired and his achilles was hurting, according to the State News. Green tied his season low with 23 minutes and Derrick Nix, apparently ailing, only played 5. Appling got a season-high 25 minutes, second only to Summers' 27 for the game, and Thornton and Payne checked in with 17 and 15 respectively.

Two areas of concern were still visible in this game, as evidenced by MSU's 23.6% egregious 31.8% TORate and their 66.7% shooting at the line. They're getting ready to face another zone defense on Tuesday against Syracuse, and it will be a zone defense at a completely different level. MSU's outside shooting has been stellar this year, but they'll need to improve on the TOs and foul shooting when they go up against Jim Boeheim's Orangemen.