Michigan State Falls To Hawaii, 84-62
Maurice Ager nets 16 points for the Spartans.
Nov. 19, 2005
HONOLULU (AP) - Hawaii made a short side trip a long day for No. 4 Michigan State.
Matt Lojeski and Julian Sensley each scored 20 points for the Rainbow Warriors in an 84-62 victory that ended the Spartans' streak of season-opening wins at 28.
Michigan State, the first member of the preseason Top Ten to lose this season, was hampered by poor shooting and leg cramps. The Spartans stopped off on Oahu on the way to Maui Invitational that starts Monday and will see them play three games in as many days.
It was the biggest home win for the Rainbow Warriors (1-0) since they beat No. 2 Kansas in the finals of the 1997 Rainbow Classic. And the crowd of 8,802 got louder as the lead got larger.
Lojeski, a junior college transfer playing in his first Division I game, was 6-for-8 from 3-point range and his last one capped a 14-2 run that gave Hawaii a 70-52 lead with 6:03 left.
Maurice Ager had 16 points for the Spartans, coming off their fourth Final Four appearance in seven years. But he was one of four Michigan State players affected by leg cramps.
Paul Davis, who had 12 points and 11 rebounds, left the game for a second and final time with cramps with 13:27 to play. Ager, Shannon Brown and Drew Neitzel all had to leave the game at some point because of the cramps. Brown had to be removed on a stretcher with 6:36 left because of the intense pain.
The cramps so affected the Spartans that for a good portion of the final 10 minutes there were four freshmen on the floor at the same time.
Hawaii led by as many as 14 points on the way to a 39-32 halftime lead. The Spartans got within 56-50 with 10:44 to go on a 5-0 run, but Hawaii looked a lot like Michigan State teams of recent years in response.
Bobby Nash banked in a 3-pointer as the shot clock ran out to start the 11-0 run. At one point, Hawaii missed three straight shots but kept possession as the ball went out of bounds. Offensive rebounding has always been a trait of the Spartans, but it was the Rainbow Warriors who came up with 27 second-chance points in this game.
Lojeski hit two 3s to close the run and the celebration was on for Hawaii.
Hawaii finished 10-for-24 from 3-point range, while the Spartans were 5-for-18. Ager finished 1-for-7 from beyond the arc and Brown was 1-for-5.
The win was the 300th at Hawaii for coach Riley Wallace and it improved the Rainbow Warriors to 2-0 all-time against Michigan State.
The Spartans dropped to 10-6 all-time in the state of Hawaii and they have the three in Maui next week.