After a tough loss to Northeastern on Sunday, the Michigan State Spartans will try to rebound on Wednesday as they host the Oakland Golden Grizzlies.
The Michigan State Spartans (7-5) will try to get their season back on the rails in their non-conference finale on Wednesday, when they host the Oakland Golden Grizzlies (9-2) after losing to Northeastern at the Breslin Center on Sunday.
Oakland also lost to Northeastern this week, the visiting Huskies completing their sweep of the two Michigan teams by beating Oakland at the buzzer 61-59 on Tuesday night. The loss was the Golden Grizzlies’ first since an 82-78 loss to Nevada on Thanksgiving and ended a five-game winning streak.
While they have not faced any power conference teams yet this season, the Golden Grizzles still look like a formidable opponent for the Spartans despite losing Kay Felder to the Cleveland Cavaliers this offseason. They average 81 points per game and dispatched Oral Roberts—to whom Michigan State nearly lost—92-64 on Dec. 1. Over two-thirds of the Golden Grizzlies’ field goals are assisted, they rebound well and are efficient from the free throw line.
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Seven Golden Grizzles average 15 or more minutes and at least five points per game and the team’s top three scorers all hail from the state of Michigan. Junior Detroiter Martez Walker leads the team with 17.1 points per game but was held without a field goal in the Golden Grizzles’ loss to Northeastern. Lansing Junior Jalen Hayes averages 13.7 points and leads Oakland in rebounding with 6.7 boards per game. Sherron Dorsey-Walker, a senior from Detroit, scores 11.7 points and adds 4.8 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game.
Michigan State is searching for answers and needs to find them fast after losing 81-73 to a middling Northeastern team on Sunday, essentially moving the Spartans to the outside of the bubble conversation with no room to give up another bad loss before Big Ten play begins.
Still without leading scorer and rebounder Miles Bridges, the Spartans have leaned increasingly on senior Eron Harris, with mixed results. Harris averages 13.3 points per game and has scored in double-digits in six consecutive games, but put up his worst shooting performance in a month against Northeastern on Sunday and played only 23 minutes.
Freshmen Cassius Winston and Nick Ward have impressed, Winston picking up his first double-double on Sunday with 21 points and ten rebounds, and Ward averaging 15.5 points and 7.5 rebounds off the bench since Bridges’ injury.
The Spartans pass the ball around nicely and shoot well enough from the floor, but free throw shooting has been their Achilles heel. They have shot only 61.4% from the line as a team this season, which has kept several games close and helped Northeastern pull off the upset on Sunday.
Here are all the details for today’s game:
Michigan State Spartans vs. Oakland Golden Grizzlies
Breslin Center – East Lansing, Mich.
Game Time: 7:00 p.m.
TV: The game will air live on Big Ten Network, with Brandon Gaudin and Stephen Bardo on the call.
Live Stream: The game will available for online streaming with a subscription on BTN2Go.
Radio: Will Tieman and Matt Steigenga will be on the mic for the Spartan Sports Network, which can be streamed here. A full list of over-the-air radio affiliates is available here and the game can be streamed through the SSN Mobile App with a subscription.
Series History: The Spartans have won all 14 matchups between the two schools, including their last meeting, 99-93 in overtime at the Palace of Auburn Hills last December.
Line: The Spartans are currently eight-point favorites and the over/under is 148.5.