No. 3 Michigan State wears down visiting Southern Utah for 88-63 win

EAST LANSING, Mich. — No. 3 Michigan State (9-1) outlasted visiting Southern Utah (5-4), 88-63, on Saturday at the Breslin Center in a game that was closer than the scoreline indicated.

Four players scored in double figures for Michigan State, led by Miles Bridges, Jaren Jackson Jr. and Nick Ward with 17 points apiece. The win extended the Spartans’ winning streak to eight games.

WHY: Michigan State won simply because it is a better, more dynamic team than Southern Utah. The Thunderbirds stuck around with 3-point shooting, but Michigan State’s length, athleticism and depth wore the visitors down as the game dragged on.

WHAT IT MEANS: Michigan State has to find a way to win more convincingly when shooting dramatically better than its opponents. The Spartans have been fantastic defending the interior this season, but once again they got burned from outside. Southern Utah hit 11 of its first 22 3-pointers to get the deficit down to 63-56 before going cold to finish out the game.

WHO STARRED: Jaren Jackson Jr. The freshman forward stayed out of foul trouble and stayed on the floor, giving the Spartans a big boost with his energy. He finished with 17 points, 13 rebounds and 5 blocks for his fifth double-double of the season. And he played a crucial part in Southern Utah shooting just 10 for 39 (25.6 percent) on 2-pointers.

WHO STUMBLED: Matt McQuaid. It’s tough to find someone who struggled mightily in a 25-point win, and McQuaid certainly played hard as usual, but he couldn’t find his shot. He hit his first 3-pointer before missing four attempts to finish out the game.

WHO WAS THERE: The chunk of the Breslin Center’s lower bowl not filled with Izzone members was heavily occupied by Michigan State football coaches, players and recruits. Coach Mark Dantonio and his leadership council addressed the crowd at halftime, with Dantonio and captain Brian Allen speaking.

WHO IS NEXT: After a week off for exams, Michigan State will head to Detroit for a neutral-site game at Little Caesar’s Arena against Oakland next Saturday. The game will tip off at 2:30 p.m. ET on ESPNU.

BOX SCORE:

The post No. 3 Michigan State wears down visiting Southern Utah for 88-63 win appeared first on Land of 10.

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