No. 2 Michigan State Beats Georgia, 80-68
The two teams donated over $339,000 to the American Red Cross and hurricane relief.
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - After No. 2 Michigan State beat Georgia, 80-68, in front of a sellout crowd of 10,699, Spartans Head Coach Tom Izzo said that fans in the Grand Rapids area made Van Andel Arena seem like Breslin Center West.
The Spartans used a late run in the first half to take a nine-point lead at the break and extended it to as many as 18 points in the second half en route to the 12-point win.
Prior to the game, Izzo and Georgia Head Coach Mark Fox presented a check for more than $339,000 that will be donated to the American Red Cross and American Red Cross - International, benefiting victims of the summer hurricanes, particularly in Georgia and The Bahamas.
Sophomore guard/forward Miles Bridges recorded a double-double with 21 points and 10 rebounds to lead three players in double figures for the Spartans. Sophomore forward Nick Ward finished with 13 points, while sophomore guard Joshua Langford scored 11 points and sophomore guard Cassius Winston added nine points and a game-high 10 assists.
The Spartans led by nine points, 40-31, at the break, but an early run from Georgia pulled the visitors to within five points, 42-37, on free throws from Yante Maten, a Michigan native who scored a game-high 33 points. MSU responded with six-straight points - free throws from Gavin Schilling and Ward sandwiched around a Bridges jumper - to take a 48-37 lead with 15:52 to play.
MSU led by seven points, 50-43, and used a 21-10 run over a span of 6:15 and took its biggest lead, 71-53, on a 3-pointer from Matt McQuaid with 5:14 to play in the game. Georgia would pull to within nine points twice in the final two minutes but got no closer.
The Spartans had taken an early 9-2 lead after a jumper from Langford, forcing the Bulldogs to call a timeout just over three minutes into the game. Georgia responded with an 11-2 run over 2:36 and took a 13-11 lead on a 3-pointer from Tyree Crump with 13:45 to play in the half.
From there, it was neck-and-neck over the next nine minutes, with six ties and five lead changes. A 3-pointer from Maten gave the Bulldogs a 27-24 lead, but the Spartans tied the game at 29-all after Langford responded with his own trifecta.
Trailing 31-29 after free throws from Maten, MSU out-scored the Bulldogs 11-0 over the final 3:11, taking a 40-31 lead after one of two free throws from Bridges. The sophomore forward scored nine of the team's 11 points during the last 3:11 of the half.
Michigan State connected on 50 percent of its field goals (26-of-52), hit 30 percent of its 3-pointers (6-of-20) and were 22-of-28 from the free throw line (78.6%). MSU held a 31-29 advantage on the boards and handed out 19 assists.
Michigan State plays its final exhibition game on Friday, Nov. 3 at Breslin Center, hosting Hillsdale. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m. and the game will be shown live on BTNPlus and can be heard on the Spartan Sports Network.