Izzo displeased with MSU's 75-62 win against Toledo
Coach stands one win shy of Heathcoate's program record
Following Tuesday’s grind-it-out victory against Gonzaga, the No. 2 MSU men’s basketball perhaps showed some signs of let-up in Friday’s 75-62 victory against Toledo.
The Spartans looked as if they were going to pull away in the first half following a 22-4 scoring run, but missed some key shots and a lack of dominance kept the Spartans from pulling away in the first round of the Legends Classic at Breslin Center.
Against a Toledo squad that entered with an 0-2 mark, head coach Tom Izzo said he was disappointed with his team’s performance and was hoping to see more out of his team.
“You think you’d learn a lesson when you get physically beat up by Gonzaga,” Izzo said. “Sometimes winning cures all evils, and I hope (the team) can get it before we go the other way.”
After MSU opened the game with a monster jam from junior guard Durrell Summers, Toledo responded with back-to-back buckets and took an early 8-5 lead.
Sophomore forward Delvon Roe scored his first points of the season on a put-back, starting a 22-4 Spartan run that resulted in a double-digit advantage the team would hold for most of the first half.
Junior guard Kalin Lucas continued the scoring run when he found Roe for a transition bucket opportunity that became a three-point play when Lucas was fouled on the shot and sunk a free throw.
After a couple Spartan triples, junior center Tom Herzog made a nice defensive play when he blocked a shot that was picked up by MSU and turned into an acrobatic lay-up for Lucas to make it 23-12.
Lucas scored 12 points on 5-for-12 shooting and had six assists, while sophomore forward Draymond Green led five Spartans in double figures with 15 points to go along with eight rebounds and four assists.
“I think we started letting up on defense once we got a 17-point lead,” Green said. “We got stagnant and started slowing down like the game was over.”
MSU extended its lead to 37-20, but back-to-back three pointers by the Rockets slowed the Spartans’ onslaught.
Hoping to revamp the lead going into halftime, MSU instead hit an offensive snag, and Toledo added two more buckets to cut the Spartans’ lead to 37-30 at half.
The second half saw MSU go on an 8-0 run to open the half that was highlighted by a dunk by junior guard Chris Allen, but just when it looked like MSU would open up the floodgates, Toledo crept closer and wouldn’t go away.
With MSU leading 54-34, Toledo freshman guard Stephen Albrecht went into attack-mode and nailed 15 of his team’s next 17 points, including three treys, and rallied the Rockets as close as 12 points, but the Spartans wouldn’t let the score get any closer.
Albrecht led all scorers with 20 points.
MSU has a short turnaround for Sunday’s noon matchup against Valparaiso, and with Friday’s game being the second of three games in a six-day span, Summers said rest is important during this stretch.
“That’s real important for the guys to take care of their body and get rest,” Summers said. “It might not show the next game, but down the road it’s going to show.”
Senior forward Raymar Morgan didn’t play because of an ankle sprain, so MSU was forced to go to players like Summers and Allen more often.
Summers finished with 10 points and six rebounds, and Izzo said the guard continues to impress with his ability on the glass.
Allen finished with 14 points, while Roe had 10 points and 11 rebounds.
“I was happy with Chris (Allen) and I was happy with Kalin (Lucas),” Izzo said. “I thought we were a little bit selfish and it wasn’t our guards necessarily.”