The Michigan Wolverines took care of business on their home court tonight, defeating their in-state rival Michigan State Spartans by a 69-50 final score and officially clinching the Big Ten.
And in doing so, they dealt more than one blow to the Spartans.
Not only have their tournament hopes taken a serious blow, but this season will mark the first time in head coach Tom Izzo’s 26 years of coaching Michigan State that he’s suffered a losing Big Ten record.
Aaron Henry scored 14 points, while Mady Sissoko tallied eight. The Spartans are now 14-11 and 8-11 in the Big Ten.
“I’m very disappointed in the way we played,” Izzo said afterwards. “I thought our guard play was very poor early.”
Izzo also appeared to take issue with the officiating, specifically lamenting the constant stoppages in play and also addressing the flagrant foul that was called on Henry late in the 1st half.
“There were a lot of stoppages,” Izzo said. It’s no fun to play the games.”
“Aaron’s call when he’s going up for a shot…I didn’t see it, but it changed the game. All of a sudden a couple of baskets and you’re down by 11.”
“I’m interested in getting another shot at them,” Izzo said. “They played well, beat us fair and square. I thought it was strange, it was a strange game, had a lot of weird calls, a lot of hook and holds. Until I see the film, I don’t know what’s right or wrong. There were some changing plays that we didn’t make — give them credit. They played well.”
The two teams will meet again in the regular-season finale on Sunday from East Lansing. For Izzo, he expects things to be different.
Michigan State coach Tom Izzo, as the rematch with Michigan awaits Sunday: "We’ll bounce back. We’ve been here before. A lot this year."
— Brian Hamilton (@_Brian_Hamilton) March 5, 2021
– – Quotes via Detroit Free Press Link – –