December 7, 2008

Video: Izzo sees progress in Spartan win over Bradley

EAST LANSING - Michigan State bounced back from a loss to No. 1 ranked North Carolina on Wednesday with a 75-59 win over Bradley at the Breslin Center Sunday afternoon.

Chris Allen continued his hot shooting from 3-point range against Bradley. Allen scored a season-high 19 points against Bradley. The bulk of his scoring game in the first half with 13 points.

Bradley matched Michigan State in most facets of the game during the first half. The Spartans led by just five points at the break, 32-27.

"It was kind of a tale of two halves," said Izzo. "We didn't guard very well (early). We tried to do some things defensively that we thought would work and Delvon (Roe) really struggled with what we wanted to do and in a way rightfully so. There were a lot of dribble drives, but that's a team that that's what they do and they do it very well and with four guards, that's going to be hard to cover no matter who we play, especially when Ray got in foul trouble."

Michigan State's leading scorer Raymar Morgan scored 7 points after scoring 21 points against North Carolina a few days earlier. Morgan was hampered by foul trouble in the second half. He picked up two before halftime.

Allen shot 6 of 14 overall against Bradley. He was 5 of 9 from beyond the 3-point arc.
Kalin Lucas added 12 points and 9 assists in the win over Michigan State's opponent from the Valley. With the win, Michigan State moved their non-conference mark to 5-2. Bradley dropped to 5-3 with the loss.

Michigan State held Bradley to 33 percent from the floor in the second half.

"They shot the ball well early and at one of the timeouts we made an adjustment of how we wanted to cover it (their ball screens) and I thought our defense was a lot better," said Izzo.

Aside from Allen, Izzo was the most pleased with the play of Travis Walton, who spent 15 of his 34 minutes playing the four.

"I thought Travis Walton was as steady as anybody, along with Chris Allen," said Izzo.

Izzo was also pleased with improved with his team's improved 3-point shooting, free-throw shooting, and overall improvement on defense.

Izzo expects his club to benefit from the practice sessions over the holiday break. The extended practice time should help Michigan State move in the direction Izzo wants his team to go. Right now, Izzo says his team is not where it needs to be.

"I am going to continuously say this, but we are not where we need to be at all," said Izzo. "We just need some practice time right now. We need to keep everybody on the court. Between fouls and injuries we are just playing lineups ... I can't practice with Travis Walton at the four, and he played 15 minutes of it today, which is just ridiculous. But it's just the way it went and the way way it had to be."

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