No. 2/2 Michigan State Hosts Cleveland State on Friday
East Lansing, Mich. -
Michigan State’s men’s basketball team plays its first game after the Christmas holiday on Friday, Dec. 29, hosting Cleveland State at the Breslin Center. Tipoff is slated for 6 p.m.
The game will be shown live on the Big Ten Network, with Kevin Kugler calling the play-by-play and Jon Crispin serving as the color analyst. The Spartan Sports Network radio call can be heard on one of 38 affiliates and on the web at SpartanSportsNetwork.com, with Will Tieman handling the play-by-play and Matt Steigenga serving as the color analyst. The game can also be heard on Sirius 137, XM 380 and Internet 962.
The Spartans, who have won 11-straight games, improved to 12-1 overall with non-league wins over Houston Baptist (107-62) and Long Beach State (102-60) last week. In scoring more than 100 points in consecutive games, it marked the first time MSU had done that since surpassing the century mark in the first three games of the 2004-05 season.
Sophomore Miles Bridges was named the Big Ten Player of the Week on Tuesday after averaging 25.0 points, 7.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists while connecting on 64.3 percent of his shots from the field (18-of-28) in two games. Against Houston Baptist on Dec. 18, Bridges tied his career-high with 33 points, hitting 11-of-14 shots from the floor, four 3-pointers and all seven of his free throws, to go with six rebounds and five assists. He followed that up with 17 points and nine rebounds in the win over Long Beach State.
Bridges leads Michigan State in scoring, and ranks fifth in the Big Ten, with 16.8 points per game, is second on the team with 6.7 rebounds and is averaging 2.3 assists and 1.3 blocks. He is 14th in the league in rebounding, second in free throw percentage (93.8 percent), 17th in 3-point field goals made (1.7/game) and tied for 13th in blocked shots.
This is the first time Bridges has been named Big Ten Player of the Week and he is the first Spartan to earn the award since Nick Ward in February 2017. Bridges was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Week five times last year.
He is one of five players scoring in double figures for the Spartans. Ward is second with 14.5 points and second on the team with 6.8 rebounds. He ranks first in the Big Ten, and No. 8 nationally, connecting on 68.6 percent of his field goals. Sophomore Joshua Langford is third on the team with 13.6 points, while sophomore guard Cassius Winston is fourth with 13.0 points and leads the team, and ranks No. 12 nationally, with 6.9 assists per game, and freshman forward Jaren Jackson Jr. is averaging 10.4 points, leads the team with 7.6 rebounds and is averaging 3.4 blocked shots per game, which ranks No. 7 in the country.
Cleveland State enters the game on Friday night with a 3-9 overall record. The Vikings have lost their last three games, including an 81-62 decision at then-No. 20 Cincinnati on Dec. 21. Cleveland State has an 0-7 record on the road this season. Senior guard Kenny Carpenter leads the team in scoring with 13.7 points per game and is second on the team with 6.0 rebounds. Freshman guard Tyree Appleby is second on the team with 11.7 points and leads the team with 3.1 assists per game. Senior forward Anthony Wright is fifth on the team in scoring with 8.1 points and leads the team with 6.3 rebounds. The Vikings have four players who have hit at least 10 3-pointers, led by Carpenter and senior guard Bobby Ward, who have 20 apiece. The Vikings are averaging 67.6 points per game and allowing 71.2 points. CSU is shooting 44.6 percent from the floor and allowing opponents to shoot 43.3 percent.
This will be the ninth all-time meeting between Michigan State and Cleveland State. The Spartans lead the head-to-head series, 8-0, and MSU is 5-0 all-time against the Vikings at home. The last meeting between the teams was an 83-75 Michigan State win on Dec. 16, 2005.