No. 9 Michigan State Defeats Wofford, 72-60
The Spartans improve to 6-2.
Dec. 4, 2009
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Tom Izzo wasn't happy with Michigan State's play in a home win over Wofford and he couldn't express himself the way he wanted to.
"Oh, how I wish this was HBO," Izzo said, biting his tongue in describing the ninth-ranked Spartans' 72-60 victory Friday night. "I thought their team played with a lot of heart. And I don't think mine did."
Raymar Morgan was a notable exception for Michigan State with 19 points and 11 rebounds, both season highs. He was 7 of 11 from the field and 5 of 5 at the free throw line in his third straight strong performance after going scoreless last Friday in a loss to Florida.
"We've got a lot of guys not playing very well and some not playing well at all," Izzo said. "We've got to start playing for the name on the front of the uniform and not the name on the back."
Noah Dahlman led the Terriers (4-5) with 19 points. He was 8 of 13 from the field and 3 of 5 from the line. And he got the better of his brother, Isaiah, who started and scored two points for Michigan State.
"My brother was hyping this up a lot," Noah said. "I love to compete against him. This was something I'll remember the rest of my life."
Isaiah went to an old phrase to describe his feelings.
"This was the icing on the cake," Isaiah said. "They say that you can't have your cake and eat it, too. I did tonight with this win."
After a win at Georgia, narrow losses at Pittsburgh and Bradley and a respectable showing at Illinois, Wofford should have had the Spartans' attention.
But Michigan State trailed 9-4 before a 12-2 run, then led 31-26 at halftime. Leading 43-41, the Spartans finally pulled away with a 12-3 spurt.
"We came out a little sluggish," Morgan said. "I hope we can get that figured out. We've had a lot of games where we've started slow."
Michigan State bounced back from an 89-82 loss at No. 10 North Carolina on Tuesday but had 19 turnovers and wasn't sharp for much of the game despite huge statistical edges.
Lucas had nine assists for Michigan State, a much larger team than the Terriers, who enjoyed a 10-1 edge in steals.
The Spartans shot 40 percent from 3-point range, a major improvement from their 2-of-20 effort in the Big Ten/ACC matchup at North Carolina.
"I told our team, `They're not there yet,"' Wofford coach Mike Young said. "Coach Izzo knows that and would be the first to admit it. But that team is going to go a long way. If they won the whole thing, I wouldn't be the least bit surprised."
Izzo would if his team plays the way it did in its 44th consecutive nonconference home win.
"It was an interesting day and night for me," Izzo said, reflecting back to his Division II playing days. "I learned that they got in late and they walked from the Marriott over here at 10:30 at night in the snow to practice. I have a lot of respect for Mike and the job he did."