No. 2 Spartans Down Massachusetts 106-68
Nov. 28, 2009
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) -Tom Izzo won his 341st game at Michigan State, setting the school record for victories in the No. 2 Spartans' 106-68 win over Massachusetts on Saturday night in the Legends Classic.
Izzo set the record the same week mentor and predecessor Jud Heathcote was inducted into the National Collegiate Hall of Fame. For years, it was Izzo who sat by Heathcote's side as an assistant and associate head coach. When Heathcote retired, Izzo was his hand-picked successor.
Izzo had already matched him with one national championship apiece. He now stands alone atop the Spartans' win list with a 341-138 record in his 15th season.
Chris Allen led the Spartans (5-1) with 18 points.
Izzo made the hundreds of green-clad fans who made the trip to the Jersey shore wait a day for history after the Spartans were upset by Florida 77-74 on Friday night.
They returned for a glimpse of school history in the consolation game of the tournament, where Florida played Rutgers in the championship game.
Like so many of Michigan State's games against weak non-conference teams, this outcome was never in doubt. The Spartans used a 30-3 run in the first half to turn this slice of school history into a lopsided one.
Spartan fans held printed "341" cards and chanted Izzo's name in the waning moments, and stood and applauded him once the final horn sounded. Izzo has led the Spartans to five Final Fours since 1999 and lost the national championship game last season to North Carolina.
Izzo, Lucas and the Spartans are motivated to get there again and win the program's third national title. Heathcote won the championship with Magic Johnson in 1979, and Izzo won his title in 2000.
The Spartans were stunned by the Gators a night earlier in large part because they missed eight of 10 3-point attempts. The Minutemen (2-4) had a flicker of success early with an 8-2 lead, then watched it evaporate into a 32-11 hole once the Spartans regained their long-range touch.
Lucas hit a pair of 3s that tied the score, Lucious and Morgan connected during the run, and even when they went inside the arc, the Spartans still got three. Roe made the most of a shaky pass and errant landing when he was fouled on a layup and converted the three-point play for a 32-11 lead.
Lucious hit three 3s in the first half, and the Spartans went 8 for 15 on 3s to take a 55-38 lead into the break.
Anthony Gurley scored 24 points and Ricky Harris had 15 for UMass.
Izzo glumly downplayed the coaching milestone when the Gators won on Friday. He was more appreciative of the mark the night he tied Heathcote. Izzo will have little time to savor the win: Michigan State has a national championship rematch Tuesday against North Carolina.
at the official