In what was supposed to be a victory lap following a win against the No. 1 team in the nation, Michigan State struggled to defeat the Columbia University Lions 62-53 Friday night.
The Spartans started the game on a 9-0 run, but struggled to get out in transition for much of the game, with scoring on the fast break. State only had 10 fast break points on the game. Columbia led 26-22 at the half.
For the second straight game, MSU was out rebounded by their opponent, a trend Spartans coach Tom Izzo would like to end.
“Rebounding here is a religion,” Izzo said. “I’ve got to make sure that doesn’t change.”
Michigan State went 0-7 from three point range.
Because of their lack of production from the outside, the Spartans relied on their senior forward Adreian Payne, who recorded his second double-double of the year, leading all scorers with 26 points and grabbing 11 rebounds.
Izzo continued to repeat the word “disappointing” after the game, but remained confident that his team will improve.
“We proved tonight that we’re not ready to handle any kind of success,” Izzo said. “This game will make us better.”
Both Izzo and Columbia head coach Kyle Smith mentioned the impact of the Izzone, especially late in the game. With less than five minutes left, the Izzone helped force two shot clock violations by counting incorrectly as the shot clock dwindled.
“That’s the best coached student section in the country,” Smith said, “They duped us.”
Izzo echoed those sentiments. “The Izzone was a lot more aggressive than the players on the floor tonight,” he said.
The Spartans’ next game is Monday night against the University of Portland at 7 p.m.
-The Spartans had seven turnovers against Kentucky. They had eight in the first half against Columbia
Andrew Hayes is the host of Impact Izzone for Impact Sports.
Photo: David Defever