Thursday, May 23, 2024

Mens basketball team advances to Coca Cola Classic championship game

November 30, 2001
Junior forward Aloysius anagonye grabs a rebound in front of Indiana-Purdue Fort Wayne center Baboucarr Njie during Friday night’s 81-68 win over the Mastodons in the semifinals of the Spartan Coca-Cola Classic at the Breslin Center. The Spartans will take on the winner of the Maine-Lamar game Saturday night.

No. 22 MSU got back to business Friday defeating Indiana Purdue-Fort Wayne 81-68 in the first round of the Spartan Coca-Cola Classic.

The Spartans (3-2) advance to Saturday night’s championship game at 8:20 p.m. to face the winner of tonight’s Lamar vs. Maine matchup.

The win extended MSU’s home win streak, the longest in the nation, to 47.

“We did some good things and we did some poor things,” MSU men’s head basketball coach Tom Izzo said.

One plus in Friday’s victory was the return of the fastbreak.

“I was very happy to see the guys break,” Izzo said. “And the fastbreak was better because our wings got out running. But (sophomore guard) Marcus (Taylor) orchestrated that. I thought he hit both sides of the court well.”

The Spartan offense started strong with a Taylor bomb for two and a perfectly executed fastbreak from Taylor to junior forward Al Anagonye to put the Spartans up 4-0.

IPFW guard John Watkins’ steal from MSU freshman forward Alan Anderson with 19:03 remaining was converted into a three point field goal by guard Nick Wise to put the Mastodon’s on the board for the first time.

“I’m just thrilled with our effort,” IPFW head coach Doug Noll said. “This is great for our program. “

Wise’s triple began a Mastodon run that resulted in a 7-6 lead before sophomore forward Adam Wolfe dunked at the 15:56 mark and ignited a 23-9 run to finish the half up 31-20..

MSU rode that momentum to put the game away early in the second half, as freshman guard Chris Hill scored 11 of MSU’s first 13 points.

Taylor and Hill led the Spartans with 16 points each. IPFW (0-5) forward Jeremy King, a transfer from Bowling Green, led all scorers with 17 points.

“I thought Marcus Taylor had his best game and being three for 10 that says a lot,” Izzo said. “But I thought he ran our team. Thought he hit some guys when they were open. Thought he did a great job defensive rebounding. And he had nine assists and probably should have had 13 or 14.”

The MSU men‘s basketball team finally completed a full game Friday after Wednesday night‘s debacle in Virginia. That game was called off in the second half because of slippery floor conditions.

Athletics director Clarence Underwood announced Thursday the MSU-Virginia game will not be made up.


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