Thursday, May 23, 2024

Team drags to 72-62 OT victory

November 19, 2001
Freshman guard Chris Hill passes the ball past Dave Hall from the Midwest All-Stars team Sunday at the Breslin Center. The Spartans beat the 2001 Midwest All-Stars 72-62 in overtime.

TV cameras weren’t around to witness this one.

And that was probably a good thing - the MSU men’s basketball team didn’t feed the net until the 15:54 mark of the first half.

“We need to know that not every game we play is not going to be on national television or against a big Top 25 team,” freshman guard Chris Hill said. “And every game we come out to play, teams are going to want to come out and beat us. And we have to come out, whoever our opponent is, we know what we want to do and how we want execute things, and we have to be able to go out and do that.”

In front of a depleted Breslin Center crowd, the MSU men’s basketball team staggered to an overtime exhibition victory against the Midwest All-Stars, 72-62.

“Severe disappointment is the only words I can come up with for our performance today,” MSU head coach Tom Izzo said. “I thought it was very important that we got something out of this game and I didn’t. We looked mentally not in it.”

And there is a lot of work ahead if the Spartans want to find success against No. 21 Syracuse and its tough zone defense Wednesday at Madison Square Garden in New York in the Preseason NIT semifinal matchup.

“The one thing I appreciated (Midwest All-Star’s head coach) Chris (Grier) doing is, we asked him to play a little bit of zone and think they were going to play anyway, and then they played a lot of zone,” Izzo said. “And I don’t even know how you can evaluate our zone offense with the way we threw the ball around and the mistakes we made.”

MSU finished the game with 17 turnovers.

The Spartans led 57-52 with 3:18 left in regulation. But All-Stars guard Chauncey Willis landed a three and forward Myron Brown threw in the tying basket on a putback with 1:50 left.

In the final two minutes, neither team could set up an offensive chance. Junior forward Adam Ballinger missed a three-pointer from the top with only two seconds left, setting up the overtime shootout.

Hill, who finished with 18 points, gave the Spartans some opening overtime momentum with two straight treys to go up 63-57.

“(Hill) was big today,” said sophomore point guard Marcus Taylor, who led MSU’s scoring with 19 points. “He stepped in and hit some big shots for us. But still we didn’t play the way we wanted to.”

Brown hit the All-Stars final score on a layup with 1:40 left and the Spartans iced the game with five Taylor free throws. MSU outshot the All-Stars 15-5 in the extra minutes.

The Spartans began the game in energized fashion with Taylor launching a pass to freshman guard Kelvin Torbert for a missed alley-oop attempt.

The All-Stars took over from the Torbert miss going on a 7-0 run before Izzo called a timeout.

After the timeout, junior forward Al Anagonye turned the ball over and a minute later Torbert finally registered the Spartans first points with a 12-foot jump shot.

The Spartans chopped away at the lead for the next 12 minutes with freshman forward Alan Anderson’s layup at the 5:29 mark cutting the All-Stars lead to three. With just under three minutes left, Hill hit a trey for the tie.

Willis led all scorers with 26 points on 9-of-23 shooting.

“Their team played pretty good,” Izzo said. “They hit some shots. I think we did a terrible job on (Chauncey) Willis even though he was nine for 23. We didn’t give him any help when he posted, we didn’t stop his three point shots when we needed to and then we didn’t rebound the misses.”

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