Miles Bridges shines in exhibition win over Georgia
The MSU Men’s basketball team beat the Georgia Bulldogs 80-68 in its second exhibition game of the young season Sunday afternoon in a hurricane relief exhibition game in front of a sold out crowd at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids.
The Spartans had three players finish with double digits in points with sophomores Miles Bridges, Nick Ward and Joshua Langford. Bridges had a team high 21 points.
Bridges struggled to find a rhythm early on in a closely-contested first half, but heated up towards the end of the half with a couple of drives to the basket. This was followed up with a midrange pull-up jump shot to give MSU a nine point advantage over the Bulldogs at the break.
After the game, Bridges talked about what helped him find a rhythm as the game progressed.
“I was getting to the basket, getting to the free throw line and the basket started opening up wide for me,” Bridges said. “I was trying to find lanes where I could attack, and once I found them I was good to go.”
Bridges credit his early struggles to being too passive on offense and not looking for his shot enough.
“I was being too passive at first and he just told me to be aggressive and get to the rim and get to the free throw line because that’s when I’m at my best,” Bridges said.
Head coach Tom Izzo said after the game that if he could critique one aspect of the forwards performance against Georgia, it would be that he was at times selfless to a fault.
“The only problem I have with Miles Bridges is he’s too unselfish,” Izzo said. “He took maybe a shot or two he shouldn’t have, but he probably didn’t take six that he should have.”
Izzo credited Bridges’ late first half flurry to give the Spartans the momentum heading into halftime, and praised the sophomore’s overall performance despite some unassertive moments early on.
“He had no turnovers, three assists, 21 points, 10 rebounds and his coach is calling him too unselfish, so, nice problem to have,” Izzo said.
The Spartans led by 18 points late in the second half and were able to hold off a late push by Georgia ,who cut the deficit in half with under two minutes left in the game
MSU shot 50 percent from the field for the game and held Georgia to shooting just 40 percent from the field. The team also out-rebounded and out-assisted the Bulldogs.
Izzo complimented his team’s overall play versus Georgia and noted some improvements the squad made since their eight point exhibition win over Ferris State last Thursday.
“The mission every year is to get better every day from the day before,” Izzo said.
“I thought defensively on the ball screens we struggled so much in the last game, we did a much better job,” Izzo added. “I thought we did a better job moving the ball, I thought our guards at least looked for their shots a little more.”
MSU will look to close out preseason play undefeated as they prepare to face off against Hillsdale Friday, Nov. 3 at the Breslin Center. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET.