Penn State Faces Pivotal Matchup in Opening Round of Big Ten Tournament

Miami got five early steals and scored eight quick points off turnovers. Then a double-digit deficit. How far can the young Spartans go?

The freshman big man from OH took notice and settled into what turned out to be a dominant 19-point, 7-round day (on 8 of 9 shooting) in 26 minutes of action. It took 10 more minutes for their freshmen to flip it entirely.

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - In an offensive slugfest Friday (March 17), the No. 23-ranked University of MI men's basketball team held off Oklahoma State, 92-91, in an NCAA Tournament first-round game at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. However, this step is quite a large one to make, as they will need to get around the Michigan State Spartans who seem to have put the poor regular season behind them, judging by the way they played in the first game on Friday. Game time is yet to be determined. Nick Ward netted 19 points and Miles Bridges added 18 as the Spartans mauled eighth-seeded Miami 78-58 in Midwest Region action in Tulsa.

Tempo is usually dictated by a team's point guard. Both teams scored 51 second half points.

The Spartans shot 56.6% after struggling at the outset. Brown and Ja'Quan Newton will be counted on to lead the Hurricanes next season.

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Senior guard Davon Reed averages 15 points to lead the offensive attack, with almost half his baskets coming from 3-point range, while guard Ja'Quan Newton adds 13.4 points.

About 3 1/2 minutes later on a rush up the ice, freshman Denis Smirnov found a passing lane to Sucese - though it nearly looked as if Smirnov was shooting - with Sucese redirecting the puck into an open side of the net for his 15th score of the year. And, honestly, things weren't looking good, as MSU was a turnover machine. Ward's jump ball foul - something that basically never happens - threw a wrench into things early.

Freshman Dewan Huell played well off UM's bench with eight points.

Kevin Scott scored 19 points to lead the 16th-seeded Tigers (23-12). It was the Spartans' sixth giveaway. "I talked to Jud last night and he said, 'Make sure those clocks are running.' So I'll probably have one of my assistants check on them". They pushed it out to a 59-54 lead with 14:02 left.

But the Spartans survived the Hurricanes' landfall and responded. Michigan, the fourth-best offense in terms of efficiency, shot 51.8 percent, including 11-of-15 from beyond the arc in the second half. MI committed just four turnovers all day, continuing its nation-low turnover ratio. The plane ran through the runway; crashed through a chain-link fence; rolled through a ditch, snapping off the landing gear; and finally settled to a stop in a grass field, just short of a ravine. The senior's three-point play with 34.6 seconds before halftime sent MSU into the locker room leading, 38-27.

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