Valparaiso loses to the Spartans despite scoring 18 points in the first half... Sparty wasn't worried.
Well if the game had started at the 14 minute mark of the second half, Valpo would have doubled up Michigan State. Unfortunately, it didn't and Valparaiso was already losing by 27 points. That would be the highest deficit of the game and it would be the end of Michigan State really playing their hardest.
The first half of this game was all Michigan State. Valpo shot 22 percent from the field, scored 18 points, and frankly looked scared to be playing a B1G, bad team.
So what went wrong for Valpo? Here's a few of the bullet points:
At one point, all conference forward Ryan Broekhoff was shooting 1-for-7 and had five points.
Kevin Van Wijk, who set the Horizon League record for FG% at 65 percent, went 0-for-5. He had two points and five rebounds
- Will Bogan, who averaged 1.6 3PM/g and shot 41.1 percent from downtown, went 0-for-3 in the first half. I think he played in the second half, he apparently had a block.
- Valpo averaged a +1 rebounding margin (not a great number, but wait til you see this...) and they were out rebounded 43-20. Michigan State had 16 offensive rebounds.
- Valpo used all but one timeout by the 17 minute mark of the second half: not the best clock management.
Derrick Nix arrived at the game. That was a problem for Valpo. His line: 23 points, 15 rebounds (nine offensive), and two steals.
There were a few bright spots in the game. In the second half, Erik Buggs decided to wake up from his three turnover first-half coma and scored all of his 14 points. Ben Boggs shot 3-for-4 from beyond the arc and had 15 points. Unfortunately these were garbage time positives. Oh and Vashil Fernandez played! Actually that's not a good sign; that's usually a sign that the game is out of hand.
Michigan State proved they are a team to be reckoned with in this tournament. Anyone who's bracket is semi-dependent on an early exit from Michigan State (read: mine) you may be in trouble. Izzo's got his mojo going and the Midwest Bracket should be worried