Monday, January 24, 2022

Sports | Basketball

BASKETBALL

Teammates' birthday wish: A tourney bid

Julie Pagel knows exactly what she wants for her birthday - a berth in the NCAA Tournament. The junior forward's 21st birthday is today - two days before the March 16 committee selection date - but Pagel has already made plans to accept the belated present. "It's two days overdue, but nevertheless, it'd be a great gift," she said.

BASKETBALL

Freshman forward sparks Spartans in tourney

Chicago - In one of MSU's best defensive performances of the season, it was a surprising player that helped the Spartans dispose of Purdue. Freshman forward Erazem Lorbek showed tremendous poise throughout the contest in leading the Spartans (19-11) to 54-42 victory Friday afternoon at the United Center. The 6-foot-10 Slovenia native grabbed eight rebounds, seven on the defensive end.

BASKETBALL

Crazy 8

Chicago - Every year, the Big Ten Tournament not only provides excitement, but it also adds a dose of surprise. In the tournament's five-year history, only one No.

BASKETBALL

Champs to chumps? Izzo's squad in danger

It doesn't seem that long ago nearly the entire MSU community packed into Cedar Village like sardines that magical April night the Spartans ran the gauntlet to the school's second national championship. Even with the loss of Mateen, Morris and A.J., Spartan fans had visions of - not sugarplums - back-to-back championships dancing in their heads. The following season, the team returned a solid nucleus - seniors Charlie Bell and Andre Hutson and the high-flying sophomore Jason Richardson - plus a pair of talented freshmen, making the team's attack that much more potent. In pursuit of another title, that team went 24-3 in the regular season and won the school's fourth consecutive Big Ten regular-season title. However, the Spartans encountered a slight bump in the road in their Big Ten Tournament quarterfinal tilt with Penn State, falling to the Nittany Lions, 65-63. Although surprising, the setback didn't deter the team on its way to its third consecutive Final Four.

BASKETBALL

Guard glad to play in hometown

From living in downtown Chicago to being sidelined by a stress fracture earlier this season, Rashi Johnson's road to playing Big Ten basketball has been rough.While playing street ball at the age of 12, he was shot in the leg.

BASKETBALL

Hill, Anderson garner conference honors

Big Ten coaches and media unveiled choices for the top players in the conference Tuesday, tabbing sophomore guard Chris Hill and sophomore forward/guard Alan Anderson for Big Ten honors.Hill was named to the All-Big Ten Second Team while Anderson picked up an honorable mention from the media.

BASKETBALL

Izzo says Big Ten Tournament can derail a team's confidence

The Big Ten Tournament is six years old this season, but MSU head coach Tom Izzo isn't convinced its growing pains are done. As the men's basketball team prepares for this weekend's tournament in Chicago, Izzo said Monday the Big Ten Tournament is, at best, a mixed blessing for players and coaches as they prepare for the NCAA Tournament the following week. Izzo said the revenue and exposure the conference generates for Big Ten programs is a positive, but the "one and done" philosophy surrounding the Big Ten Tournament isn't the best representative of a season of hard work. "All you harp on all season is playing 40 minutes," Izzo said.

BASKETBALL

Cruising Spartans look to Big Ten, NCAA tourneys

Columbus, Ohio - Tired of riding the NCAA Tournament bubble, the Spartans knew a road win at Ohio State on Saturday would nearly solidify their postseason hopes. So they took care of business. They defeated the Buckeyes 72-58 at Value City Arena and now look ahead to the Big Ten Tournament - and beyond. "I do believe we deserve to be in the NCAA Tournament right now," MSU head coach Tom Izzo said, following the regular season-ending victory.

BASKETBALL

Senior re-emerging late in season

Columbus, Ohio - Senior forward Adam Ballinger is certainly picking a convenient time to heat up. After drudging through a season laden with shooting slumps and abandoned expectations, he has come alive for MSU the past two contests.

BASKETBALL

Men's basketball tops Buckeyes, 72-58

Columbus, Ohio - The Buckeyes turned into just another victim for the Spartans on Saturday afternoon. MSU dominated Ohio State for most of the game, and despite some defensive lapses, picked up the 72-58 victory at Value City Arena.

BASKETBALL

Ballinger leads seniors to victory

He had saved his best game for last, was mobbed by his teammates for the second time this season and kissed the green and white "S" at midcourt for good measure. On a senior night that saw four MSU seniors bid the regular-season hardwood at Breslin Center goodbye, senior forward Adam Ballinger shrugged off the criticism of a lackluster season and led the Spartans to a masterful 82-54 win over Iowa on Wednesday. Ballinger, who set career highs in points (22) and field goals (9, including 4-for-5 from 3-point range), set the tone for MSU's (17-11 overall, 8-6 Big Ten) game-winning 16-0 run to open the game. Ballinger and the Spartans never looked back. "The guys did a good job of getting me going," Ballinger said after the game, "Things just flowed.

BASKETBALL

Wolfe will end career after this season

On the third day of the third month in the third year of this century, No. 3 on the MSU men's basketball team announced this season, his third playing, would be his last. Junior forward Adam Wolfe announced Monday he is "99 percent" sure he will forego his final season of eligibility and leave the team following the completion of this season. Though Wolfe made the announcement abruptly, the decision is not entirely shocking.

BASKETBALL

Bracket pools, NCAA tourney make March

Tomorrow is the first day of March, which means the madness of college basketball is almost upon us. During a three-week span (perfect for hoops junkies), reputations are built, hearts are broken and legends are made. This is by far the greatest sporting event of them all.

BASKETBALL

Fouls disrupt pace in win

It was a traffic jam of a game.Stops and starts of plays, officials' whistles and the timekeeper's horn were the most distinguishable features of MSU's 71-61 win over Minnesota on Wednesday night in front of a capacity Breslin Center crowd.Officials whistled 55 personal fouls against the Spartans (15-11 overall, 7-6 Big Ten) and Golden Gophers (16-8, 8-5), 27 and 28 each respectively.

BASKETBALL

Spartans try to cool off Golden Gophers

MSU is walking into a win-lose situation heading into tonight's matchup with Minnesota. Win and keep hopes of an NCAA Tournament berth alive; lose and consider its dance card lost in the mail.A loss at the Breslin Center tonight for the Spartans (14-11 overall, 6-6 Big Ten) could be catastrophic and running the table in the Big Ten Tournament might be the Spartans only hope for reaching the NCAA Tournament.The Golden Gophers, on the other hand, are looking to steal a conference game on the road to keep their own tourney hopes afloat.Minnesota (16-7, 8-4) strung several lopsided runs together en route to a 77-69 win in January when the teams met at Williams Arena in Minneapolis.