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Roundball recap: MSU basketball tops Oakland Fighting Kendrick Nunns in close game

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That was a little too close... or, basically, a usual game against Oakland

NCAA Basketball: Michigan State at Oakland Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

No matter how good you are, these kind of close, scary games will come.

The opponents have a player that physically can’t miss. Your top players have some off games. Luckily, MSU still skated out of Little Caesars Arena with a win.

Kendrick Nunn was a machine with 32 points. MSU’s wasn’t playing incredible defense on him, but it really wasn’t terrible by any stretch of the imagination. He was just locked in and by far the best player on the court.

The say rebounding wins championships … and games against Oakland University. The rebound gap was 44-30, including 14 offensive rebounds for the Spartans. In a game that was tight for 16 minutes of the second half, that was crucial.

NCAA Basketball: Michigan State at Oakland Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Goins was incredibly efficient, grabbing eight rebounds and adding four points on 2/3 shooting. Oh, and he also had a career-high seven assists. Sneakily a reason why MSU won the game.

Free throw shooting was a reason this was close. MSU shot 15-23, but for the bulk of the game that number was hovering closer to 50 percent.

With seven minutes to go in the game, Cassius Winston was having his worst game of the season. Six turnovers and almost no offense from him. In those final seven minutes, a different story – he ended up leading the Spartans with 19 points and scored the final 14 points for MSU.

Nick Ward and Josh Langford were their usual selves. Big Pudding had 17 points and Langford had 15 with that silky mid-range jumper.

NCAA Basketball: Michigan State at Oakland Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

MSU really had a hard time getting to halftime thanks to a mix of Kendrick Nunn and Oakland’s zone defense. Oh, and the nine first half turnovers didn’t help either. Tum Tum seemed to do a decent job of facilitating the zone, driving in and swinging it out to whoever was left open. However, shots weren’t going down for the green and white.

Nick Ward led the first half with 11 points, but Matt McQuaid also shined bright in the first half too. McQuaid knocked down two threes in the first half, giving MSU a 31-19 lead before burying another one for a 34-24 lead.

Next game is a quick turnaround as the Spartans take on Houston Baptist (4-7) on Monday at 6 p.m. I can’t imagine that atmosphere will be electric as a) the students are home, b) it’s against Houston Baptist and c) it’s a 6 freaking o’ clock. The Huskies are coming off a 100-65 win over Barclay College(?), so take that however you want.