In a much anticipated Big 10 match-up, Michigan State‘s exemplary rebounding skills dominated Illinois. Out-rebounding and outplaying your opponents is key to winning games, and that is exactly what the Spartans did Saturday against their Big 10 foes. As a result, the Spartans easily defeated their conference foes 78-62 to remain perfect (5-0) in Big 10 play.
On the night, the Spartans out-rebounded the Fighting Illini 29-17. Even more importantly, the the plus-12 differential was on the defensive side of the ball. This prevented Illinois from second-chance or even third-chance points and allowed Michigan State to take a fairly easy win. Likewise, Illinois’ 38 percent shooting wasn’t able to be elevated any higher due to the Spartans’ effectiveness in boxing out their opponents and preventing them from getting easy points off second-chance opportunities.
The Spartans have the third-highest rebounding average in the nation with 40 rebounds per game. As they continue their Big 10 conference schedule, their rebounding success will dictate their final record. If they can out-rebound every opponent like they did Saturday against Illinois, Tom Izzo and company should have no issue winning. On the other hand, should rebounding become one of their issues, things won’t go as smoothly.
The Big 10 is a ultra-competitive league with many games coming down to buzzer-beater shots. Grabbing key rebounds,especially defensive rebounds, helps take pressure off a team’s defense. MSU was able to just that against Illinois and hopes to continue that as the most important time of their season approaches.
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