NCAA Basketball

Final 1 2 Tot
35 30 65
25 38 63
4:00 PM PT5:00 PM MT6:00 PM CT7:00 PM ET12:00 PM GMT8:00 PM 北京时间5:00 PM MST7:00 PM EST, Feb 1, 2022
Xfinity Center, College Park, Maryland

Rolling with better depth, No. 13 Spartans face Maryland next

Since the preseason, when they were projected to finish fifth and sixth in the Big Ten, the paths of Maryland and No. 13 Michigan State have diverged.

The difference was evident on Saturday when Michigan State delighted its home crowd by running away from rival Michigan in the second half of an 83-67 victory.

Contrast that to the dreary scene at Maryland, where the Terps went down meekly in a 68-55 loss to Indiana.

On Tuesday night when Michigan State (16-4, 7-2 Big Ten) travels to Maryland (11-10, 3-7), the matchup pits teams on vastly different trajectories.

Michigan State coach Tom Izzo has made a habit of getting the most out of his teams, generally improving and peaking at the end of the season while taking the Spartans to the past 23 NCAA Tournaments. Even last year -- Izzo's first losing season in Big Ten play -- Michigan State found a way to squeak into the First Four.

A year later, the Spartans are defying their modest expectations, contending for a conference title as their only Big Ten losses (Northwestern, Illinois) have come by a combined three points. One reason for Michigan State's resurgence has been the depth Izzo has developed.

On Saturday, the Spartans' reserves outscored the Wolverines' backups 33-6. In their last five games, Michigan State has 144 bench points to 43 for their opponents.

"We can play some guys," Izzo said after Saturday's win. "I think we'll be two-deep at each position where I don't feel afraid to sub guys."

Malik Hall (15 points, six rebounds) and A.J. Hoggard (11 points, 10 assists) were the bench standouts against Michigan. They complemented the efficiency of starters Max Christie and Joey Hauser, who combined to make 5 of 7 shots from beyond the arc in scoring a combined 30 points.

The situation at Maryland, meantime, has not been conducive to making much in-season progress. When Mark Turgeon stepped down as coach after a 5-3 start, he left the job to a presumed placeholder, Danny Manning.

The Terps appeared to be taking steps toward improvement, upsetting teams they had lost to earlier in the year (Illinois and Rutgers), but the Indiana game was a sobering reminder of where the team stands.

Maryland made a season-low 28.6 percent of its field-goal attempts as it repeatedly settled for jumpers. Of its 56 shots, 27 came from beyond the arc. It's top three scorers, Eric Ayala, Fatts Russell and Donta Scott, shot a combined 20 percent (4 of 20) from distance and 19.4 percent overall (6 for 31).

"We have to do a better job of -- when your shots aren't falling -- getting to the free-throw line, getting to the paint," Manning said. "When you don't make shots you have to find other ways to impact the ballgame."

In contrast to Michigan State's burgeoning depth, Maryland got just three points from its bench on Saturday in 42 floor minutes.

"We've got to have a short memory," Manning said. "We've got to come out and bring a little bit more."

--Field Level Media

Updated January 31, 2022

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