Five in Double Figures as Michigan State Beats Oakland, 86-73
DETROIT - Sophomore guard Cassius Winston scored all of his 19 points in the second half and No. 2/2 Michigan State used a 12-2 run late in the game to pull away from Oakland for an 86-73 win at Little Caesars Arena on Saturday afternoon.
It was the ninth-straight win for the Spartans, who improve to 10-1 overall, while Oakland falls to 6-5 overall.
Winston took only two shots in the first half, but hit 6-of-9 in the second frame, including three 3-pointers, to finish with a team-high 19 points, six rebounds, three assists and three steals. Four other players scored in double figures - sophomore forward Nick Ward scored 15 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, one shy of a career high; sophomore guard Joshua Langford had 17 points and three assists; sophomore guard/forward Miles Bridges added 11 points and three rebounds and freshman forward Jaren Jackson Jr. finished with 10 points, seven rebounds and four blocked shots. Redshirt junior forward Kenny Goins added four points, eight rebounds and seven assists off the bench.
Michigan State had gone into the half with a 38-33 lead, but the second half was a back-and-forth affair with six ties and six lead changes. Led by guard Kendrick Nunn, who scored a game-high 32 points, Oakland used a 20-10 run over a four-plus minute span to take a 55-52 lead with 14:56 to play.
The Spartans would take the lead back after a jumper from Langford and free throws from Bridges. A 3-pointer from Langford gave MSU a 66-63 lead, but a three from Oakland's Jalen Hayes tied the game with 8:01 to play in the game.
MSU responded with the long ball, as Jackson and Bridges each hit a pair of 3-pointers, and Winston followed with back-to-back shots from long distance to cap a 12-2 run over 2:57 as the Spartans took a 78-68 lead with 3:04 to play. Winston scored the next nine points for the Spartans to close out the game and tallied 15 of his 19 points in the final 3:45 of the game.
Oakland took a 14-13 lead midway through the first half on a jumper from Jalen Hayes, but MSU used an 18-5 run over 6:59 and pushed the lead to 31-19 on a 3-pointer from junior guard Matt McQuaid with 6:22 left before the break. MSU still led by 10 points, 34-24, after another three from McQuaid, but the Golden Grizzlies out-scored MSU 9-4 over the final minutes of the first halt to go into the break down five points.
MSU shot 51.7 percent from the floor (31-of-60, hit 39.1 percent of its 3-pointers (9-of-23) and 65.2 percent of its free throws (15-of-23). The Spartans held a 45-30 advantage on the glass, handed out 18 assists and committed 17 turnovers.
Michigan State returns home for its next five games, starting on Monday, Dec. 18, hosting Houston Baptist at the Breslin Center. Tipoff is slated for 6 p.m.