Michigan State hoops opens Big Ten play by blowing out Nebraska, 86-57

Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press on

Published in Basketball

"Nick made big plays," Bridges said. "It was just him being aggressive on offense and defense."

Bridges went scoreless in the second half after making 4 of 9 shots to help the Spartans to a comfortable 38-26 halftime lead. One of them was a two-hand dunk on a baseline drive after MSU got two offensive rebounds in the same possession.

The 6-7 swingman missed the three shots he took after halftime. Bridges had six rebounds and a steal but no assists in a team-high 29 minutes.

Izzo said afterward that the Spartans wanted Bridges, who finished 1 of 4 from 3-point range, to go to the basket more instead of settling for shots outside.

MSU owned the Cornhuskers in the paint, outscoring them, 16-2, in the opening 20 minutes and getting 15 second-chance points while holding Nebraska without an offensive rebound.

For the game, the Spartans finished with a 32-8 edge in points in the paint. They also had a 48-34 rebounding advantage, with Nebraska getting all 10 of its offensive boards in the second half.


MSU also went 27 for 36 at the free-throw line, both season highs for the Spartans. The Spartans also had a season-low six turnovers.

"We didn't turn the ball over and we got to the free-throw line," Winston said. "Those are some of the things on our list that we gotta work on."

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