Michigan State returned to form Monday night with an 82-56 beatdown of The Citadel.
There was a sense of “here we go again” in the first half as Michigan State started slowly and the Bulldogs were hitting everything.
“Did you see the first two threes?” Tom Izzo said after the game, “The one the kid was looking at me, there was one second left on the shot clock, and he launched it and it went in.”
The Spartans struggled again from three in the first half but quickly went to the post for offense. They went just 1-6 from the arc in the period but managed 22 points in the paint. Despite the increased production from Matt Costello and Gavin Schilling, MSU led by just six at the break.
The second half was a massacre.
The Citadel did not record a field goal until the 8:48 mark of the period, a drought which caused a 25-2 Michigan State run in the half and a 32-2 run overall.
Denzel Valentine played with goggles for the first time in his career, nursing a scratched cornea he suffered against Texas Southern, but it did not affect his performance. The forward led the team with 18 points and shot 8-11 in the game.
Michigan State was able to get out in transition in the second half which really allowed the Spartans to build a lead. The team finished with 30 fast break points.
MSU will take a week off for the holiday before returning to action as they kick off Big Ten Conference play on December 30 against Maryland. Tip is scheduled for 5 p.m. at the Breslin.
Andrew Hayes is the host of Impact Izzone and a multimedia journalist for Impact Sports