No. 2 Spartans leave little room for doubt in season-opening rout

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EAST LANSING, Mich.—The much-anticipated debut for Michigan State’s men’s basketball team went just about as expected: a few minor issues, but a comfortable blowout win.

In front of a packed Breslin Center, the preseason No. 2 team in the country took care of business Friday night against North Florida, defeating the Ospreys 98-66.

Led by double-doubles from Miles Bridges and Jaren Jackson—making his freshman debut—the Spartans dominated down low throughout the contest. Bridges led the game with 20 points and 10 rebounds, while Jackson grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds to go with his 13 points.

Three other Spartans scored in double digits for the game. Nick Ward finished a perfect 6-for-6 from the field, scoring 16 points. Josh Langford flashed his athleticism and drove the basket with ease throughout the game, scoring 13 points. Cassius Winston dished out seven assists before scoring his first points, but focused on scoring more in the second half, finishing with 12 points.

The only weaknesses Michigan State showed were its three-point shooting and turnovers. The Spartans didn’t make a single three in the first half and only shot 3-of-12 from beyond the arc for the game. They also turned the ball over 21 times, leading to 11 easy points for the Ospreys.

Still, the Spartans’ frontcourt depth was too much for the Ospreys all night. After getting out to a quick 8-3 lead, the Ospreys let the Spartans back in it, tying the score at 13. From there, the Spartans went on a definitive 19-0 run to put the game out of hand early.

The Ospreys had a tough time getting anything going other than its outside shot. They scored exactly half of their points on the three-point shot, shooting 11-for-29 for the game.

The Spartans will travel to Chicago to play in one of the most highly anticipated games of the college basketball season: the Champions Classic against No. 1 Duke. The game at the United Center will tip off at 7:00 p.m Tuesday.

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