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Roundball recap: Spartans trounce DePaul after tight first half

It was a close game for a little bit, but the Spartans got it done

NCAA Basketball: DePaul at Michigan State Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s sum this up in one sentence...

It was scary for a little bit, but then it was all OK in the end.

Want more sentences on the 73-51 win over DePaul? We got you covered here:

Wow, Matt McQuaid just hit ANOTHER 3-pointer. But seriously, this was the ideal game for Matt McQuaid who had a slow-ish start to the year. He was lethal in a 20 point night off 6-8 3-point shooting (nearly 7-8 on a ball that was halfway down the cylinder). Let’s hope this can be parlayed at more consistency down the road.

That second half defense was hellacious. The Spartans let up just 14 points in the first 15 minutes of the second half to make this a comfortable end result. Oddest part? There was only one recorded block tonight (Xavier Tillman). I thought MSU would have 1,000 blocks per game or something like that.

Fouls derailed that first half. Every Michigan State player and their cousin had two fouls in that first half. That let for some wonky lineups to trot out to the court, including Ben Carter playing some shooting forward for a little bit. And Connor George basically doubling his career minutes in one night.

That — along with nine turnovers — allowed DePaul to walk into halftime tied up with the Spartans. Against most Big Ten teams that likely would’ve been a double-digit deficit, but this was DePaul.

NCAA Basketball: DePaul at Michigan State Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

Connor George was pretty solid, especially for a walk-on. Seven rebounds (five offensive!) and two points on a silky runner at the end of the game is a quality stat line. Odds are we won’t see George log these kind of minutes much more this season, but when he does have to be called on it looks like it won’t be a lost cause.

Maybe I’m being too whiny here, but I really feel like Jaren Jackson could be more aggressive. Especially with Bridges out, I thought this would be a big night for him. Don’t get me wrong, he was still solid with a double-double, but it would’ve been nice to see him take a little more control on offense.

Life without Miles isn’t too fun. The team fared well against a much weaker opponent, but games like this (especially the first half) make you easily realize how good life is with him on the court.

Up next is another late one as MSU takes on UConn at midnight on Friday. And, believe it or not, we already have a similar opponent! Both teams have played Stony Brook. UConn beat them 72-64. MSU beat them 93-71. I can only assume that guarantees a 14-point MSU victory over the Huskies.

I also just pray they keep the 2014 Elite Eight replays to a minimum.