The score may not say it, but this game was closer than the final score indicated. At the half, it was a three point game. Memphis battled and gritted its way to a very competitive first half. Some people had thought this Memphis team was going to pull of a huge upset. That all changed when the second half started.
Whatever Tom Izzo said at halftime really worked for his Spartans team. This game looked to be a classic one that would come down to the final seconds. This didn’t happen as the big men of the Spartans overwhelmed the opposing team’s big men. Derrick Nix and Adreian Payne dominated the paint. They had 18 rebounds and 27 points combined. They also made a very crucial impact on the defensive side of the ball.
Across the board, Michigan State played extremely well. They outdid Memphis in nearly every statistic there is. They had more rebounds, steals, blocks, (yes even with D.J. Stephens on the opposing team) shooting percentage, three point percentage, and points. When you just look at those stats, you could guess just how this game went.
The player of the game has to be Adreian Payne. He was a force today. He brought incredible energy to the game and many great highlights. The most impressive thing about this kid today was the way he would get the crowd going. While watching the game, he got me into the game with his fantastic dunks and hustle. He brought intangibles to Izzo’s squad, that without, this game would have been completely different.