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Roundball recap: MSU erases double-digit deficit again, beats Penn State

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We look at the 12-0 run, Miles Bridges, Matt McQuaid and more

NCAA Basketball: Penn State at Michigan State Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Alright, so this team is the cardiac kids apparently.

With their second straight double-digit comeback win, the Spartans move to 21-3 on the season — already more wins than they had all of last season.

A lot to discuss in this 76-68 win, so let’s jump into it.

Let’s talk about that monster 12-0 run in the second half that swayed the game. Down 41-29, the Spartans erased that deficit in just three minutes and 18 seconds. Kenny Goins got the Breslin crowd riled up with a dunk. Miles Bridges sent them into a frenzy with a 3-pointer to make it 41-37. Then, Cassius Winston oh-so-cool hit back-to-back jumpers to tie it up. Great defense and even better offense in that stretch was (yelling head emoji) MONEY.

Miles Bridges, who has no game according to a certain hack ESPN caricature, lit it up with 23 points and nine rebounds. He got nine points behind the arc, two from a thunderous dunk late in the second half and six from the free throw line.

Man, if only he had some game.

Nick Ward played with fire – but maybe too much. I’m not going to sit here and knock someone for playing too intense. However, it would be nice to dial it back just a smidge so we avoid the whole “elbow an opponent to give them a four-point possession” thing. And he didn’t do as great in the double team against Penn State as he did against Maryland – he had four turnovers Wednesday night. But hey, nine rebounds!

NCAA Basketball: Penn State at Michigan State Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Matt McQuaid’s game is a roller coaster, and on Wednesday night we were at the top of the Millennium Force. His defense on Penn State’s Tony Carr was the silencer in the second half, who scored eight points in the second half IF you take away his two late threes when the game was essentially over.

And his two made 3-pointers came at the right times, once to pull MSU within one at 47-46 and then another one 30 seconds later, tying the game at 49-all. That blew up Breslin.

This was vintage Cassius Winston – the kind that you envision leading a team to a Final Four. He was smart with his shooting – 15 points on 5-7 shooting – and dished out 10 assists. He just looked smooth out there today, which is a stark difference than the first half against Maryland.

NCAA Basketball: Penn State at Michigan State Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

I’m starting to just feel bad for Jaren Jackson now. If he’s locking someone up on defense too good, the refs just assume there’s no possible way anyone can play that great of defense without fouling. So, they blow the whistle on him.

Sure, some are legitimate fouls by him. But he doesn’t get the benefit of the doubt whatsoever.

The Izzone was on fire today for the first time this season, in my opinion. The team brought them to life in that second half run, and the student section carried that energy to bring the team to the finish line. Well done, Izzone – let’s see that against Purdue.

MSU has a gauntlet ahead of them as they go into the toughest stretch of the Big Ten season. At Indiana on Saturday. At Iowa on Tuesday. Home against No. 2 Purdue on Feb. 10. Then at Minnesota on Feb. 13 and at Northwestern on Feb. 17.

This team turns it over too much to make me feel like they run the table with four road games and Purdue. I think they go 4-1 in that stretch. What are you guys feeling?

Poll

What will MSU’s record be in its next five games?

This poll is closed

  • 32%
    5-0
    (149 votes)
  • 35%
    4-1
    (161 votes)
  • 29%
    3-2
    (133 votes)
  • 1%
    2-3 or worse
    (9 votes)
452 votes total Vote Now