HALFTIME: No. 13 MSU basketball (1-2) leads Florida Gulf Coast (1-2)
No. 13 MSU basketball was back at Breslin Center again and fresh of their first win of the season against Mississippi Valley State this past Friday. This time taking on Florida Gulf Coast out of the Atlantic Sun, the Spartans lead the Eagles at halftime 38-36.
The Spartans were led on the offensive end by senior guard Eron Harris, who converted 6-of-9 from the field, (2-for-2 from 3-point range) for 17 points. Harris was the pulse for MSU's offense in the first half, as the next leading score for the Spartans were Matt Van Dyk and Miles Bridges with five points a piece.
MSU has battled FGCU only once before, a 97-58 win for MSU head coach Tom Izzo and his Spartans in 2009. Florida Gulf Coast, dubbed as “Dunk City” following their 2013 NCAA Tournament run as a 15-seed to the Sweet Sixteen, exhibited some of the high-flying dunks they are nicknamed for in pregame warmups.
MSU has their own high-flyer of their own in star freshman forward Bridges, as he threw down an impressive reverse dunk towards the end of the half. Bridges chipped in five rebounds as well in 18 first half minutes in addition to his five points.
Florida Gulf Coast was shooting at a 44.1 percent clip from three-point range after their first three games, including just under nine made threes per game. In the first half, the Eagles shot the ball at that same clip, going 4-of-9 from downtown.
MSU was able to hold FGCU's leading scorer, guard Brandon Goodwin, to zero points after the first 12 minutes. Goodwin, who is averaging 20 points per game after three contests, proceeded to light up the Spartans for 11 points after that, including a deep three at the end of the half with the shot clock winding down.
Izzo was given a technical foul with a minute left in the half after it appeared a Florida Gulf Coast player traveled. It was not called, and the Eagles wound up getting a bucket, stealing the inbounds pass and getting another layup. Izzo was fuming and let the referee have it.
FGCU turned it over three times in their first four possessions, sparking MSU's early 6-1 run and prompting an early timeout from FGCU head coach Joe Dooley. The first half was played at a frenetic pace for both sides, as nine turnovers were committed on each side.MSU and FGCU were both called for a number of offensive fouls as a result of the frantic offensive pace.
In fact, the referee's whistles were going off quite a bit, as MSU was called for 11 personals to the Eagles 12. MSU is being out-rebounded 20-18 after 20 minutes, five to three on the offensive glass.
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