EAST LANSING — It was unsure if Preseason All-American Cassius Winston would play tonight. Last night he suffered the loss of his brother Zachary Winston in a tragic train accident. But Cassius did play, and his team rallied around him.
On a night where basketball was an afterthought to the terrible loss of Zachary Winston.
No. 1-ranked Michigan State dominated the Binghamton Bearcats at the Breslin Center on Sunday evening, when everything happening on the court seemed trivial with the loss of Winston’s younger brother, by a score of 100-47.
“There was nothing we could say or do that will make it better. So all we did was tell Cassius we’re going to support him,” said head coach Tom Izzo, when asked about the loss of Zachary Winston.
Despite the emotion Winston must have been feeling all night, he finished the night with 17 points and 11 assists.
The Spartans never trailed in this game, and were able to get multiple players a lot of playing time, including Marcus Bingham. Who set a new career high in points in the first half alone.
Bingham finished the first half with 10 points of his career high 13 points. His previous career high was set the previous game against Kentucky with seven.
The focal point of this game of course, was senior guard Cassius Winston.
It was doubtful if he would even play after losing his brother a day ago. But he did play and played like always does, logging a double-double.
Helped through the night by his teammates and coaches, as well as an entire stadium standing behind him, who showed it with a moment of silence before the game.
“You know I don’t think I lead the team, I think Cassius did,” said Izzo.
“Not with his words he just did it with his actions.”
On the other end, Binghamton struggled all night. They never found a recipe on offense to generate chances and had a problem with turnovers. The Bearcats shot 30 percent from the field and went nine of 30 from deep.
They couldn’t contain Michigan State’s offense well either, with Michigan State going on a huge run early on to gain a 27-5 lead eight minutes into the game.
The second half was laid back and both teams seemed to be on cruise control. Multiple underclassmen saw numerous minutes.
Binghamton’s leading scorer was guard Sam Sessoms who lead the Bearcats with 12 points but played hesitant during the second half after getting into foul trouble early on.
The main highlight of the night came midway through the second half when Foster Loyer gave a lob to Julius Marble from three-point range and Marble slammed it home with one hand.
“I thought the stat of the day for an Izzo coached team was four turnovers, because we wanted to get 60 shots up and we got 74,” said Izzo when talking about the performance.
Overall, Michigan State looked solid on a tough and emotional night after a up and down performance vs. Kentucky.
On the Binghamton end, they couldn’t get out of their own way after trying to keep up with the top-ranked team in America.
The Spartans will next face off against Seton Hall on Thursday at 8:30 p.m. and you can watch the game on Fox Sports One.
Kyle Hatty is a beat reporter for Impact89FM who covers hockey, football and men’s basketball with his focus being hockey.