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MSU 59, OSU 56: Kneejerk Reactions

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Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

After a win like that I think we can bring this back:

Your Four Factors for the game:

Also here's a look at the team's (somewhat exclusive) Plus-Minus for the game:

Player +/-
Lourawls Nairn Jr.
+7
Bryn Forbes -11
Denzel Valentine +10
Branden Dawson +5
Gavin Schilling -1
Travis Trice +5
Matt Costello +4
Alvin Ellis III
-2
Marvin Clark Jr.
-2

It was close most of the first half until MSU had a 15-2 run that started at about the 7 minute mark giving them a 33-24 halftime lead.The turning point of the second half was Valentine getting his 3rd foul at 14:25 with an 8 point lead and coming back in with under 9 to go leading just 46-44. After that no one led by more than 3 and Izzo down the stretch did some very un-Izzo things such as not calling timeout on the final play and considering becoming a part of #TeamFoul. Oh yeah and this happened:

Some bullets for the game:

  • This is the first game that MSU had a lower Offensive Rebounding % than their opponent since the first Maryland game on December 30, 2014. Athletic freshman Jae'Sean Tate had a lot to do with that collecting 3 offensive boards himself and limiting Dawson to just 2.
  • Lourawls "Tum-Tum" Nairn Jr. made a 3-pointer. It wasn't a heave at the end of the shot-clock, it wasn't a lucky bank shot, this was a real shot that looked good coming off his hands. I doubt they're going to run plays to get him looks from there, but defenses can't leave him completely left alone out there anymore. He looks significantly better than he did earlier this season (on both ends) and I feel much better about him offensively going forward.
  • Bad free-throw shooting may be contagious as OSU shot 5-13 (38.5%) from the FT line. MSU didn't shoot much better (4-7; 57.1%) but Dawson making both of his on a 1-and-1 down the stretch was absolutely critical. After he made those, they showed Izzo's reaction on the big screen showing more emotion than I've seen from him in awhile.
  • Branden Dawson had a huge game with a great stat line of 15 pts, 11 rebs, 4 asts, and a season-high 5 blocks. In my opinion he's likely to be 1st or 2nd All-B1G and he should be the favorite for Big Ten DPOY (currently averaging 2.3 blks and 1.4 stls in conference play).
  • Bryn Forbes had arguably his roughest day of the year going 0-4 for 0 points in 21 minutes (previous season-low was 4). Ohio State has a good amount of length and athleticism, and they did a good job of pressuring him and running him off the 3-point line. The next game is against Michigan who often go with 2 smaller guards in the backcourt so he should have some better looks next game.
  • Denzel Valentine obviously played extremely well offensive getting 17 points on 10 shots and nailing that game-winner. However, he did a great job defensively on freshman phenom D'Angelo Russell who went 4-13 for only 10 points. Valentine isn't a great athlete but he works extremely hard on defense and should get more credit for what he does on that end.
  • Costello outplayed his counterpart Schilling and even had a nice 2 point jumper go down in the first half. I'm not suggesting he should start over Schilling, but I think he has been the better big lately.

Next week MSU has road game against Michigan (Tues) where MSU is a 2 point favorite against UM per KenPom. All signs point to Michigan not getting Walton back, so MSU should come out of Ann Arbor with the win despite the close game last time. It took a career game from Valentine and OT so we should hope it won't be nearly as difficult this time.

#BeatMichigan