Spartans Return Home

After suffering one of its worst offensive games in over 50 years, Michigan State looks to rebound Tuesday when the No. 11 Spartans (14-2, 2-1 Big Ten) return home to face Ohio State.

Michigan State dropped five spots in the poll this week after a frustrating 43-36 loss at Iowa on Saturday. It was the fewest points the Spartans have scored during the shot clock era.

Oddsmakers from Bodog have made Michigan State –7.5 point spread favorites (View College Basketball odds) for today’s game (Game Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 67% of bets for this game have been placed on Michigan State –7.5 (View College Basketball bet percentages).

"All I can say is that it's ... an embarrassing loss the way we played," coach Tom Izzo said. "I didn't think we had one guy that played even close to capable. We missed layups, we missed free throws, and we just couldn't find a way to get over the hump."

It was Michigan State's lowest scoring game since it scored 36 in a loss to Michigan in 1952 and its worst shooting game since it shot just 28.3 percent in a 53-48 loss against Iowa on March 11, 2006.

The Spartans, who had won 11 straight since a 68-63 loss to then-No. 2 UCLA in November, shot 30.8 percent from the field - actually better than Iowa's 27.5 percent - and were outscored 16-1 at the free throw line. They also committed 18 turnovers.

"We deserved what we got," Izzo said.

Michigan State's two top scorers, Raymar Morgan and Drew Neitzel, each scored only 10 points to lead the Spartans, who are averaging 75.1 points and shooting a Big Ten-best 49 percent from the field. Morgan and Neitzel combine to average more than 30 points.

"It was a total breakdown by just about every player on our team, and that doesn't happen very often," Izzo said. "I'm very disappointed. I thought that was one of the poorest overall games we've played, maybe since I've been head coach."

The Spartans look to rebound against a Ohio State team that is also coming off its first conference loss, falling 75-68 at Purdue on Saturday. The Buckeyes (12-4, 3-1) shot 35.5 percent from the field and committed 20 turnovers as their eight-game winning streak ended.

Jamar Butler went 6-of-11 from 3-point range to finish with 26 points while freshman Kosta Koufos added 12 points and nine rebounds. The loss also ended Ohio State's 19-game Big Ten winning streak.

"Consistency is a word we've used with this team and we just didn't play with the consistency," coach Thad Matta said. "We didn't have the consistent play we needed for 40 minutes tonight."

Michigan State leads the all-time series against Ohio State 57-47, including 34-15 at the Breslin Center. The Buckeyes swept both meetings last season, although Neitzel averaged 26.5 points in the two losses for the Spartans.

The Buckeyes are continuing a stretch in which they play five of seven games on the road, including a trip to face No. 6 Tennessee on Saturday. Ohio State is 2-2 on the road, including a 65-46 loss at then-No. 16 Butler on Dec. 1 - its third loss in four games against ranked opponents this season.

"This is a unique stretch for us," Matta said. "We are looking for steady improvement."

by: Staff Writers - Email Us

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