Michigan State-Oakland: Recap, score, analysis (December 16, 2017)

No. 2  Michigan State (10-1, 2-0 Big Ten) outlasted an upset-minded Oakland (6-4) team, 86-73, at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit on Saturday. The Spartans have now won all 16 meetings with the Golden Grizzlies.

The Spartans overcame 32 points from Oakland’s Kendrick Nunn by getting all five starters into double figures. Cassius Winston led the way with 19 points, including Michigan State’s last 14. Nick Ward added 15 points and 15 rebounds.

Michigan State-Oakland recap, score

Michigan State 72, Oakland 68 (H2, 3:51): Michigan State missed its share of shots but kept giving itself crucial second chances. Miles Bridges missed a 3-pointer, only to have Jaren Jackson Jr. grab the board and give him another shot from deep, which he didn’t waste.

Michigan State 66, Oakland 66 (H2, 7:47): Oakland kept finding open looks from long range and hitting them. Even Jalen Hayes got in on the act, pulling Nick Ward out on a pick-and-pop. He had only hit one on the season beforehand. The Grizzlies hit 7 of their first 11 3-pointers in the second half.

Michigan State 63, Oakland 58 (H2, 10:00): Michigan State looks half asleep until a hard foul on Miles Bridges as he attempted a dunk got the Spartans going. They gave themselves second chances with offensive rebounds, which helped make up for Oakland’s deadeye shooting. At this point, Kendrick Nunn had 28 points.

Michigan State 46, Oakland 45 (H2, 15:43): Kendrick Nunn kept doing his thing out of the break, and he finally got some help from Martez Walker, who got his first bucket on a 4-point play that gave the Grizzlies the lead. Michigan State got back in front via a broken play that somehow ended in a Jaren Jackson Jr. layup plus a foul.

Michigan State 38, Oakland 33 (H1, 0:00): Michigan State hurt itself with turnovers and subpar defensive rebounding. Oakland shot the ball very poorly outside of Kendrick Nunn, who scored 16 points and showed an aggression on offense that the Spartans often didn’t.

Michigan State 34, Oakland 24 (H1, 3:09): Michigan State got itself in trouble with suspect passing, particularly from Cassius Winston, who tried to pass over the top of defenders. Those errors led to transition opportunities for Oakland and fouls on the Spartans. Jaren Jackson Jr. and Josh Langford each got to 2 fouls in a hurry.

Michigan State 31, Oakland 19 (H1, 6:14): Oakland came out of a timeout and immediately got a shot clock violation. On the other end, Michigan State found open looks and hit them. Matt McQuaid hit a 3-pointer in transition, a welcome sign for a fan base that has seen him struggle mightily in recent weeks.

Michigan State 24, Oakland 19 (H1, 7:59): Michigan State’s commitment to attacking the rack gave Oakland a lot of trouble and put the Grizzlies in serious foul trouble. Starters Martez Walker and Isaiah Brock both had 3 fouls with a lot of time to play in the first half.

Michigan State 17, Oakland 14 (H1, 11:58): Michigan State and Oakland got off to a fast-paced start, and Josh Langford showed his importance to the Spartans. He continually sprinted up the sideline, got the ball in good positions and got his quick shot off. He scored 7 of Michigan State’s first 17 points.

Michigan State 0, Oakland 0 (H1, 20:00): Michigan State started its usual five of Cassius Winston, Josh Langford, Miles Bridges, Jaren Jackson Jr. and Nick Ward. Oakland did not start leading scorer Kendrick Nunn, who has been battling an ankle injury.

Michigan State-Oakland basketball: Game time, information

Michigan State and Oakland play at 2:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, Dec. 16.

Time: 2:30 p.m. ET

Date: Saturday, Dec. 16

Location: Little Caesars Arena, Detroit

How can I watch the Michigan State-Oakland basketball game on TV and online?

Michigan State and Oakland will be broadcast on ESPNU.  WatchESPN will have the live stream. You also can stream the game from your  Android or  iOS device.

Clay Matvick and Brooke Weisbrod will call the game.

How can I listen to the Michigan State-Oakland basketball game on the radio?

Michigan State and Oakland can be heard over the 38-affiliate  Spartan Sports Network, including flagship stations WMMQ-FM (94.9)/WJIM-AM (1240) in Lansing and WNAS-FM (93.1) in Detroit.

Will Tieman and Matt Steigenga will have the call.

Michigan State-Oakland basketball preview

It’s not a Big Ten opponent, but Oakland is as familiar a foe as any for Michigan State. Spartans coach Tom Izzo has faced the Grizzlies in 15 of his 22 seasons, including 11 of the last 12. This will make it 12 meetings in 13 years.

Michigan State has won every time, but Oakland steadily has been inching toward the massive upset it craves. In the last three meetings at a neutral site, the Grizzlies have lost by an average of 3.7 points. In 2015, they took the Spartans to overtime behind 37 points from current Bulls point guard Kay Felder.

“I don’t know why in the hell I keep doing it,” Izzo said of his series with Oakland. “But I do because I have great respect for [Grizzlies coach Greg Kampe] and his program. … It’s sold out. How cool is that? Of course, that’s gonna be big for them.

“But where I’d like to see if our team is maturing, I hope it’s really big for us, too, because we get a chance to play downtown Detroit. We get a chance to play where [coach Stan] Van Gundy leads the Pistons. We get a chance to play in a place where if we win enough we could be playing there in March.”

The new Pistons arena will host first- and second-round games in the NCAA Tournament this spring. Should Michigan State lock up a No. 1 seed, it could earn the right to play there again.

But getting that seed means taking care of teams such as Oakland, tough squads that will put up a fight. The Grizzlies have plenty of talented players but have struggled to get them all on the floor at the same time. Jalen Hayes, who averages 19.3 points and 9.3 rebounds, missed four games because of an eligibility issue. Illinois transfer Kendrick Nunn, who averages 21.7 points, has been set back by an ankle injury. But per The Detroit News’ Tony Paul, Nunn will play on Saturday.

“They have three players averaging [around] 20 points per game, and all three of them have given us problems in the past,” Izzo said, also referencing Martez Walker, who averages 21.2 points. “It is no surprise that Kampe calls this his best team.”

The dynamic Oakland trio will be a stiff test for a Michigan State team that has been shutting teams down inside the arc. Each of the Spartans’ last three opponents have shot worse than 26 percent on 2-pointers. But defending 3-pointers has been a tougher task, and they’ll face a Grizzlies team hitting 8.8 shots from long range per game.

On offense, Michigan State has players getting it done inside and out. Despite his limited minutes, big man Nick Ward has scored 13.7 points per game behind 64.1 percent shooting. Additionally, point guard Cassius Winston is hitting a scalding 61.0 percent of his 3-pointers (25 of 41).

The post Michigan State-Oakland: Recap, score, analysis (December 16, 2017) appeared first on Land of 10.

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