Michigan State improved to 2-0 on the season with a 80-70 win over Notre Dame in East Lansing. The Spartans used a 26-0 run from late in the first half to early in the second half to separate themselves from the Irish.
It was a balanced attack for the Spartans with five players scoring at least eight points, including three in double figures. Aaron Henry led the way with 14 points and seven rebounds, and Rocket Watts added 13 points six assists off the bench. Joey Hauser had his first MSU double-double with 10 points and 16 rebounds.
Eleven different Spartans scored tonight, and the Michigan State bench outscored Notre Dame’s 39 to six.
It was an impressive defensive performance for the Spartans, holding Notre Dame scoreless for nearly 10 minutes during their big run that helped them pull away. They were able to hold the Irish to 35 percent shooting overall, and also came up with nine steals and 12 blocks, making things tough for Notre Dame all night.
For the game the Spartans shot 43 percent overall, but just seven-for-22 from three-point range. The Spartans dominated the paint though, outscoring the Irish 34-22 down low.
This was the type of game that really showcases the depth for the Spartans, who didn’t rely on a couple of players, but threw waves of different options at a Notre Dame squad that was playing its first game of the season.
Prentiss Hubb led the way for the Irish with 23 points and six rebounds on seven-of-22 shooting. Nate Laszewski added 12 points and a team high nine rebounds.
The win moves MSU to 2-0 on the year ahead of their Champions Classic matchup with Duke on Tuesday night. The extra tuneup against a power conference school should help MSU’s preparedness for that game, while Duke will have played only one game against Coppin State.