Rapid Reax: Mich. St. 89, LIU Brooklyn 67
March, 16, 2012
By Myron Medcalf | ESPN.com
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Instant analysis from Michigan State's 89-67 win over LIU-Brooklyn.
Overview: No upset in this one.
But the Spartans, a No. 1 seed, weren’t dominant early. LIU Brooklyn, a 16-seed, shot 50 percent from the field in the first half and entered the break with a five-point deficit.
The Spartans, however, stopped messing around in the second half and advanced to the next round by outscoring the Blackbirds 47-30 after halftime.
Four Spartans recorded double figures. Derrick Nix gave Michigan State 18 points and 8 rebounds off the bench. Michigan State shot 58.8 percent from the field and had a 42-19 rebounding margin.
Turning point: It was a close game at halftime (42-37), but Tom Izzo really pushed this team to elevate its game. Not sure what he told the Spartans at halftime, but they definitely picked up the pace. Eight minutes into the second half, the Spartans had a 13-point lead.
Key player: Draymond Green recorded a triple-double. He scored a game-high 24 points, recorded 12 rebounds and dished 10 assists.
Key stat: In the first half, Michigan State recorded a 34-14 scoring advantage in the post.
Miscellaneous: Adreian Payne is such a specimen. Tall and athletic. He had three or four ridiculous dunks that showcased his athleticism. But again, the question remains: Why don’t we see more of that from him? … The Blackbirds weren’t bad. They were down by only five at halftime. Jamal Olasewere (17 points) and Julian Boyd (15 points) can really play and they’re both juniors. Watch out for this mid-major next season.
What’s next: Michigan State will play Saint Louis on Sunday in the third round of the tournament with a shot at the Sweet 16 on the line.