It was an afternoon Michigan State basketball superstar Cassius Winston will remember for quite some time. The Spartans steam-rolled the Michigan Wolverines Sunday to the tune of 87-69.
Michigan State basketball is now a perfect 4-0 in Big Ten play. The Spartans ran over the Michigan Wolverines for a fourth consecutive time Sunday afternoon thanks to a stellar performance from the teams’ leader Cassius Winston. Michigan State basketball’s star guard scored a career-high 32 points on the Wolverines and also added nine assists.
Following the game head coach Tom Izzo called Winston’s performance ‘one of the best this building has ever seen.’ Referring to Michigan State basketball’s home court, the Breslin Center.
The senior guard entered the day with all eyes on his one-on-one matchup with Michigan’s Zavier Simpson. Simpson has cut his teeth on being a spectacular two-way facilitator for the Wolverines. He’s a player that prides himself on being a defense-first player.
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He does have the ability to slow down some of the best guards in the country, but Sunday, it was Cassius Winston winning the battle between the seniors. Winston took Simpson back to school.
The Wolverines were without who I feel is their best all-around player Isaiah Livers. Livers is shooting 50% from beyond the arc, plus he’s a double-digit scorer who can help out center Jon Teske on the boards.
Just like every top Tom Izzo coached team, the Spartans dominated the boards overpowering the Wolverines possession after possession. Unlike the Wolverines who have one premier rebounder, Michigan State basketball generally runs out a few.
Xavier Tillman played Robin to Winston’s Batman. Tillman hauled in 11 boards along with tieing a career-best 20 points. When you combine his day with Winston’s Michigan didn’t really have a chance Sunday on the road.
The Spartans continued to crash the boards, with Henry reeling in 8 boards, Brown and Bingham Jr both pulled down 6 each. Tillman simply outmuscled Jon Teske inside. Teske, who nearly averages a double-double, was limited to 15/5.
Entering the season, Michigan State was ranked as the top team in the nation. After a slow start, they are trending in the right direction. Many Tom Izzo teams tend to start slow, but a few losses in October don’t mean much in the grand scheme of things.
It’s not how you start in this league; it’s how you finish. The Spartans will go as far as Winston and Tillman will take them, and right now, it appears they have their sights set on another final-four appearance. March can’t come fast enough for the Spartans.