The Michigan State Spartans hosted in-state regular the Oakland Grizzlies Sunday afternoon and mimicked the football team in the sense of making it a tale of “two halves.” However, the poor performance was the first half, and MSU made adjustments and put the Grizzlies away big time in the second. The Spartans moved to 19-0 all-time against Oakland with a 109-91 victory at the Breslin Center.
The first half was a tale of turnovers and ball control. While the Spartans managed an impressive 43.8 percent shooting from three-point range, MSU coughed up the ball far too much with 12 total turnovers that led to 11 points for Oakland and a 33 percent turnover rate. MSU only had 14 points in the paint out of its total 44 in the first half, and also managed 14 points off second chance opportunities.
The Spartans came back in the second half for a much stronger performance and put away the Grizzlies. In fact, MSU eclipsed the century mark with just under four minutes left in play. Michigan State cut down turnovers to just six in the second half, good for a 13.3 percent rate. Points in the paint also jumped to 22, and MSU scored 65 overall.
On the defensive end, the Spartans also managed to cut into the Grizzlies hot shooting from deep, but only marginally. After going eight-for-15 in the first half, Oakland shot just 10-19 in the second from deep. Oakland’s Rashad Williams was the story of the first half with his 23 points, but Jalen Moore took over for Oakland in the second half with 21 points. Overall, Williams finished with 36 total points on eightof--17 shooting from behind the arc and Moore had 26 points. Oakland finished the game with 18 points total off MSU turnovers.
The Spartans had seven players finish in double-digits. Gabe Brown led the team with 20 points; while Aaron Henry added 15; Josh Langford scored 13 (though only went two-for-seven from three-point range); and Hauser, Loyer, Hoggard, and Hall all finished with 10 points each. Hauser made it a double-double with 10 boards as well, while Loyer led the team in assists with seven. The Spartans need to clean up the ball control after 18 turnovers, but cutting it down to just six in the second half was a step in the right direction.
As of now, MSU will next see action on Sunday, Dec. 20 at Northwestern to start Big Ten action.