No. 3 Michigan State dominates No. 5 Notre Dame
EAST LANSING, Mich. — Cassius Winston piled up 17 points, five rebounds and seven assists, and No. 3 Michigan State never trailed while handing No. 5 Notre Dame its first loss, 81-63, in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge on Thursday at the Breslin Center.
Joshua Langford contributed 17 points, while Miles Bridges tossed in 14 points with six rebounds for Michigan State. Nick Ward added 12 points and five rebounds.
The Spartans (6-1) are now 8-10 in the annual Challenge, while the Irish (6-1) are 3-2.
Bonzie Colson led the Irish with 17 points and six rebounds. Rex Pflueger had 15 points, T.J. Gibbs added 11 and Matt Farrell supplied 10, all in the second half.
The Spartans controlled the first half from the opening tip and led 46-26 at halftime. They held a double-digit advantage for the last 15 minutes of the half.
Jaren Jackson’s jumper gave them an 18-8 lead. Langford then went on a personal 6-0 run, hitting a pullup jumper from the left side, a foul-line jumper and a long two-pointer from the right wing.
When Langford made two free throws with 10:02 left in half, Michigan State’s lead was up to 20 at 31-11.
Colson didn’t score until he made a jumper with 7:51 remaining in the half. He added two more baskets before the half ended but Notre Dame couldn’t make any headway.
Winston’s 3-pointer in the final minute of the half gave the Spartans their biggest lead — 46-24.
The Irish climbed back by opening the second half on a 16-4 run. Farrell scored his first points of the game during that span, a 3-pointer. Farrell also capped it with a fast-break layup after Colson stripped Winston to make it 50-42.
Notre Dame got the deficit down to seven but when Ward scored in the post with 7:27 left, Michigan State was up 12 at 63-51. Winston fed Bridges for an alley-oop dunk with six minutes left, giving the Spartans a 68-53 advantage.
The Irish never got closer than 10 the rest of the way.
NOTES: The Spartans are 85-3 at home all-time in November and 63-0 under coach Tom Izzo. ... Notre Dame PG Matt Farrell has made a 3-pointer in 31 consecutive games, the longest streak among ACC programs. ... The teams had not played in East Lansing since February 1974. ... The Spartans begin their Big Ten season with a home game against Nebraska on Sunday, while the Irish host St. Francis (Brooklyn) the same afternoon.