By: Charles Ranspach
After two games that ended with nerve-racking free throws and even more nerve-racking last-second shots, the biggest game of the season was upon us.
Going into it, statistically, Michigan State and Purdue were almost identical. Coming out of it, that couldn’t have been more true.
Isaac Haas went out and Isaac Haased most of the game and ended with 25 points while Purdue had some great shooting early due to the lack of MSUs bigs not going out on the screens.
Things came back to MSU with timely 3 point shooting and some performances from players that do not have the opportunity to do so regularly. Oh and let’s not forget. MILES FRICKEN BRIDGES. When he caught that ball, dribbled to his spot and pulled up, I felt as if I was in the vacuum of space gasping for air in my lungs.
It went in and I’m sure every spartan fan erupted.
The craziest thing is this win came in a way I never expected.
UNLIKELY HEROES AMONG US:
MSU starts four sophomores and a freshman. The fact that two juniors and a fifth-year senior were pivotal to our win seems right when playing a team that starts four seniors.
Mcquaid, Goins, and Schilling played great and put Purdue in an uncomfortable spot. Of course Winston and Bridges played fantastic as well, but we aren’t here for them. On a night where 3 point shooting wasn’t there, Mcquaid had 9 points, all on threes. Goins made a shot to tie the game after it looked like Haas was going to take over again.
And Schilling guarded Haas just well enough to make him miss at the end, which proved to be the game defining defensive possession. Seeing our role players step up in a giant way when we needed them only bodes well for our future.
MILES IS MILES:
After everything that has been going on around this team lately, this was the exclamation mark on it all. Miles has been great over the last few games, averaging 20+ points and looking to be more of the star that he is.
To be fair, he looked passive tonight but hit big shots. The crazy thing is, for a star player, he just doesn’t seem to care. All he wants to do is win. The noise, good or bad, doesn’t affect his attitude. Watching him hit that shot, it looked to me that it was just like any other shot he takes during a game. And that is what makes him special. No moment is to big.
CASSIUS WINSTON’S SUCCESS IS EVERYONE’S SUCCESS.
I am sure that I have said this before, but Cash is our most important player. He played great tonight and almost put up a triple double.
The most impressive thing though was his defense. Closing out his man and never letting them get up a clean shot. Cash played 36 minutes to Tum Tum’s 4. That says A LOT!!!!! When he is on the court we are a different team. The way he sees the court and dribbles through defenses opens up our great shooters and even gives guys that aren’t the best (Kenny Goins) opportunities to hit huge shots. We may have some super talent on this team, but how Winston plays will determine how far we go.