the Spartans are coming!
Five games left in the regular season and the Michigan State Spartans (15-8, 6-6 Big Ten, 5th place, 5 games behind tOSU) are coming to Crisler Thursday at 7pm. This is the second meeting between the two teams.
When I am able, I make it to Michigan for the holidays and take in a few games. My brother is a State grad so we try to find a UM/MSWho game to attend. Sometimes it is hockey but this year was women's basketball and the New Year's Eve matinée at MSWho drew a huge (for women's bball) crowd. The entire lower tier was filled and there was some overflow in the upper. The two folks in blue, up and behind the basket, alone in the sea of green, and the small section in maize across from the bench hardly made a dent in the raucous, partisan crowd (the Spartan fans were gracious though). During the game, M played tough at first, even leading part of the way, but then faded and could not do much after and MSWho cruised to a 71-86 win.
MSWho is led by “short is cute, tall is beautiful” Allyssa DeHaan (ave 12.2ppg/6rpg) and backed up by Kalisha Keane (9ppg/4rpg). The Spartans lost to Iowa on last Sunday 66-77 breaking a 4 game winning streak. Dehaan (15pt/4reb vs Iowa) played well but seems to not have had much support based on the Iowa's 36 rebounds vs Michigan State's 26 and Iowa's 28 points in the paint compared to 18 for the Spartans.
Still, State could be vulnerable. Their 4 game winning streak was against Purdue (8-5 Big Ten and won last 2), Minnesota (6 game loosing streak), Northwestern (5-7 Big Ten but won last two) and Penn State (4 game loosing streak). Purdue and maybe the recently resurgent NU were legitimate wins.
And Michigan is confident and hungry.
This is an opportunity! Please come out, support the team Thursday and make a lot of noise!
Recap Minnesota (sort of)*
Minnesota 40 (11-12, 4-8 Big Ten), Michigan 74 (14-9, 6-7 Big Ten). In a word: blowout...and their first 30 pt win of the season! It was a game (sloppy) for the first half with 5 lead changes and 25 total turnovers. But then M came out with a 29-9 run to start the second half. M held Buford and Ellis-Milan to 7 and 2 points each respectively. For the game, Minn was held to 23% shooting while M enjoyed 56% shooting. Reynolds had 25pts/3reb, Phillips 19pt/9reb, Hicks 9pts/2reb, Hollins 14pts/4reb and Ryan 6pts/6reb (that is if I read the boxscore correctly).
This is the team we need to have show up against MSU.
*Not an expert, just an interested party.