Coach Tom Izzo not satisfied with Michigan State’s easy men's basketball win over Penn State, 71-56
By TRAVIS JOHNSON
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Tom Izzo wasn’t impressed with much of No. 6 Michigan State’s double-digit victory over Penn State.
The Spartans built a big lead early and dominated at times in the paint in their 71-56 win on Sunday. From Izzo’s standpoint, that’s all they did well and that won’t be enough for the Spartans to be the team they want to be.
“Maybe we’re all talking too much about how good we are,” Izzo said. “We’re not that good.”
Playing without guards Joshua Langford and Kyle Ahrens, Michigan State’s offense suffered through spurts of inconsistency while also mounting the runs necessary to keep the game out of reach.
Nick Ward had 16 points and 11 rebounds, Matt McQuaid added 15 points and Cassius Winston chipped in 11 for the Spartans (15-2, 6-0 Big Ten), who have won 10 straight. They also beat the Nittany Lions (7-10, 0-6) for the 10th consecutive time.
Michigan State turned the ball over 17 times and shot 49 percent from the field.
“They missed some shots that I think they could’ve made,” Izzo said. “The turnovers were a joke.”
Kenny Goins added 10 rebounds for the Spartans, who only trailed for 10 seconds and led by as many as 21.
The Spartans took control just over five minutes into the first half with a relentless possession.
Fueled by a pair of offensive rebounds from Goins and Xavier Tillman, the Spartans controlled the ball for nearly 40 seconds and took the lead for good when Winston pinpointed a bounce pass through traffic to Goins, who finished with a right-handed dunk.