There was a distinct holiday flavor in the air at Breslin Center on Wednesday, as the Izzone student section taunted visiting Arkansas-Pine Bluff with Christmas songs for much of the evening.
Unfortunately, the No. 19 MSU basketball team wasn’t exactly in the mood for gift giving.
For the second consecutive game, the Spartans took the lead and held it for the duration to rout an opponent, defeating Arkansas-Pine Bluff 76-44.
Freshman guard Gary Harris was the team’s leading scorer with 13 points and two assists, while sophomore guards Travis Trice and Branden Dawson contributed 12 and 10 points, respectively, to carry the team in the winning effort.
Although the team opened the game shooting just 2-of-10 (20 percent) from the field, the Spartans went on a 14-0 run to blow the game wide open. At one point, the Spartans poured out a 30-4 surge to assert the authority and cut off any chance of a competitive affair.
It took the Golden Lions more than 10 minutes to secure their first basket and the team went into the half trailing 38-12. The team’s leading scorer was junior forward and Detroit native Davon Haynes, who with a game-high 20 points to go along with four rebounds on the evening.
The Spartans finished the day shooting 28-for-56 (50 percent) from the field, but with a relatively pedestrian 7-for-25 (28 percent) clip from beyond the arc.
It didn’t go much better in the second half for the Golden Lions, as MSU led by as much as 37 points in the half to walk off their home court with a victory.
The Spartans will go for their third win in a row when they get back in action at 2 p.m. on Saturday against Loyola-Chicago.