No. 2 Michigan State Beats North Florida, 98-66
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Sophomore guard/forward Miles Bridges scored 20 points and had 10 rebounds to lead five players in double figures as No. 2 Michigan State beat North Florida, 98-66, in the season opener for both schools on Friday night at Breslin Center.
Michigan State improves to 1-0 with the win, while North Florida falls to 0-1.
Bridges, the preseason Big Ten Player of the Year and an Associated Press Preseason All-American, hit 9-of-15 shots from the floor to go with 10 rebounds, three blocks and two assists to lead the Spartans.
Freshman forward Jaren Jackson Jr. scored 13 points, had a game-high 13 rebounds, and added four blocked shots and three assists, while sophomore forward Nick Ward added 16 points. Sophomore guard Joshua Langford added 13 points, five assists and three steals and sophomore guard Cassius Winston chipped in 12 points and eight assists.
The Spartans led by 26 points (52-26) at halftime and took their biggest lead, 39 points, on a layup from junior guard Matt McQuaid with 2:04 left to play, extending the margin to 94-55.
The Spartans opened up a 26-point lead at the half and never looked back. Langford and Ward each scored 11 points in the opening 20 minutes, while Winston had six points and seven assists and Jackson had nine points and nine rebounds.
North Florida had taken an early 8-3 lead after a 3-pointer and a layup from Garrett Sams, but the Spartans used a 10-2 run to take a 13-10 lead on a Ward layup at the 16:25 mark. Tied at 13-all after a 3-pointer from Ivan Gandia-Rosa, MSU used a 19-0 run over a span of eight minutes and took a 32-13 lead on a layup by Bridges with 8:13 to play. MSU held the Ospreys without a field goal for 10:12 as a layup from Langford extended the lead to 38-14 with 6:05 on the clock in the opening half.
Michigan State finished the game shooting 57.4 percent from the floor (35-of-61), 25.0 percent of its three-pointers (3-of-12) and 78.1 percent from the free throw line (25-of-32). MSU held a 49-26 advantage on the boards, handed out 22 assists and committed 21 turnovers.
The Spartans travel to Chicago for a matchup with No. 1 Duke on Tuesday, Nov. 14 in the Champions Classic at the United Center. The game will be shown live on ESPN.