To start the game there was some debate as to why Aaron Henry would not be in the starting lineup. During Tom Izzo’s pregame radio show, it was mentioned that Henry was late for a team meeting, and would play off the bench against Western Michigan.
Izzo about Aaron not starting, “he was 3 or 4 minutes late... there has to be some discipline and accountability...I love the way Aaron handled it...I’m just trying to keep a culture...let’s not let the little things get away...I’m not even worried about it”— The Only Colors (@TheOnlyColors) December 7, 2020
The starting lineup was as follows, Rocket Watts, Joshua Langford, Gabe Brown, Joey Hauser, and Thomas Kithier.
Joey Hauser came out with the first points, but almost immediately the Spartans were shaky and struggled with ball control. Western Michigan was pretty aggressive on the offensive end and the Broncos began to struggle and fell behind for a bit during the first half.
“The first half we were allowing a couple post entries... our motto here is defend rebound and run.. we want to flip that switch on from the get go more” said Hauser— The Only Colors (@TheOnlyColors) December 7, 2020
At Halftime MSU only led 39 to 35.
During the second half, Hauser was very impressive. With a career high 24 points, and his third double-double of the season (10 rebounds), he lifted the tempo on the court and caused the rest of his teammates to pick up the pace.
At the end of the game, MSU finished with 10 three-point shots, with six coming from Hauser.
Hauser mentioned his ability on the perimeter “was just confidence.. a huge credit goes to my teammates... but they had faith in me and told me just keep shooting... I just want to keep shooting well”— The Only Colors (@TheOnlyColors) December 7, 2020
The Spartans ended the game with a victory over Western Michigan and a final score of MSU 79 WMU 61.
During the post game press conference, Izzo had a lot of positives to talk on, and mentioned he is looking forward to the match up against Virginia.
Izzo coming in next. “Not very encouraged with our post defense in the first half... I thought Rocket Watts played fantastic.. he was so unselfish with the ball... we got back to moving the ball better... 28 assists on 32 baskets... including one from Steven”— The Only Colors (@TheOnlyColors) December 7, 2020
Izzo In closing, “I also want to thank all the people out there...all the cardboard cutouts...gotta give credit to our fans...I think we should motorize them so that they can yell at the officials...thank you to our fans for what they have done”— The Only Colors (@TheOnlyColors) December 7, 2020