Michigan State-Southern Utah: Recap, score, analysis (December 9, 2017)

No. 3  Michigan State (9-1) took down Southern Utah (5-3), 88-63, in its return to non-conference action on Saturday night at the Breslin Center in East Lansing, Michigan.

Miles Bridges, Jaren Jackson Jr. and Nick Ward all finished with 17 points. Bridges and Jackson finished with 11 and 13 rebounds, respectively. Michigan State held Southern Utah to 32.3 percent shooting on the night and finished the Thunderbirds off with a 25-7 run.

Michigan State has a good chance to move to No. 1 in both of the national polls after top-ranked Duke and second-ranked Kansas both lost.

Michigan State-Southern Utah recap, score

Michigan State 79, Southern Utah 60 (Q2, 3:58): Michigan State began to pull away as the visitors cooled down. Jaren Jackson Jr. continued to impress with his hustle and effort on the glass. He got a double-double by grabbing 3 offensive boards on one possession.

Michigan State 66, Southern Utah 58 (H2, 7:43): Michigan State gave up maybe its easiest bucket all year in the half court, but the Spartans stayed in front behind aggressive offense from Miles Bridges and tireless rebounding from Jaren Jackson Jr.

Michigan State 56, Southern Utah (H2, 11:41): The game turned into a foul-fest, with Nick Ward repeatedly going to the line and missing. On the other end, Southern Utah kept on hitting 3-pointers to keep it close. The Thunderbirds were 5 for 8 in the half to this point.

Michigan State 51, Southern Utah 41 (H2, 15:49): Given the shooting disparity, which was about 16 percent, Michigan State should have been leading by more than 10. But the Spartans had turned it over 9 times to Southern Utah’s 4, and while the Thunderbirds were shooting just 37.5 percent from the field overall, they had hit 9 of 19 3-pointers.

Michigan State 42, Southern Utah 30 (H1, 0:00): What a weird game for Nick Ward. He can’t get it going down low, but faced with the ball in his hands beyond the arc, he hit his only career 3-point attempt so far. Then he went down the court and got a technical for jawing at a player he knocked over.

Michigan State 32, Southern Utah 23 (H1, 3:42): Yet another team found more success against Michigan State early on shooting 3-pointers than getting the ball inside the arc. Southern Utah struggled to shoot over the Spartans’ length, leading to a lot of fadeaways and bricks.

Michigan State 24, Southern Utah 15 (H1, 7:50): Nick Ward struggled to get going, with 3 turnovers to 0 points in the early going. To be fair, he looked to have an and-one that was taken away by a very questionable jump ball call. But Michigan State jumped in front by taking advantage of about a minute played by Southern Utah’s Dre Marin without his shoe.

Michigan State 14, Southern Utah 10 (H1, 11:59): Michigan State began to run crisper offense even with Nick Ward on the bench. Gavin Schilling scored on a hook shot, Miles Bridges hit an open three and Matt McQuaid got to the line via a nice backdoor cut.

Michigan State 4, Southern Utah 3 (H1, 15:44): Both teams came out slowly on the offensive end, with Nick Ward missing a baby hook he hits probably 80 percent of the time. Nearly four minutes in, Josh Langford provided the Spartans’ first field goal on his patented pull-up jumper.

Michigan State 0, Southern Utah 0 (H1, 20:00): Michigan State announced its starters, and it was the normal crew of Cassius Winston, Josh Langford, Miles Bridges, Jaren Jackson Jr. and Nick Ward.

Michigan State-Southern Utah basketball: Game time, information

Michigan State and Southern Utah play at 6 p.m. ET on Saturday, Dec. 9.

Time: 6 p.m. ET

Date: Saturday, Dec. 9

Location: Breslin Center, East Lansing, Mich.

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

Michigan State and Southern Utah will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network.  BTN2Go will have the live stream. You can also stream the game from your  Android or  iOS device.

Kevin Kugler and Shon Morris will call the game.

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

Michigan State and Southern Utah can be heard over the 38-affiliate  Spartan Sports Network, including flagship stations WMMQ-FM (94.9)/WJIM-AM (1240) in Lansing and WJR-AM (760) in Detroit.

Will Tieman and Matt Steigenga will have the call.

Michigan State-Southern Utah basketball preview

Several Spartans will see a familiar face on the sideline Saturday. Southern Utah is coached by Todd Simon, who coached one Michigan State big man, Gavin Schilling, at Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.) and another, Ben Carter, as a UNLV assistant.

A Michigan native, Simon is one win from matching his win total from his first season with the Thunderbirds in 2016-17. Jadon Cohee, who is averaging 18 points per game, leads a Southern Utah team that features three players scoring in double figures.

Michigan State will plays its last game before a seven-day break for finals week. It will be the Spartans’ third game in seven days. On Tuesday, they beat Rutgers, 62-52, on the road after being tied at halftime.

All five Michigan State starters have averaged double figures, led by Miles Bridges at 15.4 points per game. But the Spartans have been most impressive on defense, with teams shooting 33 percent overall against them. Offensive rebounding has been an issue on the surface, but a team averaging 7.9 blocks per game and forcing so many missed shots is bound to give up some boards.

Michigan State will look for more production from Nick Ward down low. The sophomore big man played a career-low 11 minutes against Rutgers and scored a career-low 3 points.

The post Michigan State-Southern Utah: Recap, score, analysis (December 9, 2017) appeared first on Land of 10.

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