December 13, 2008

Video: Izzo pleased with growth shown against Alcorn St.

EAST LANSING - With exam week just finished and with the Izzone gone for the holiday break, Michigan State could have been excused for a sloppily played basketball game against Alcorn State. Instead, the Spartans clicked in every facet of the game and turned in a decisive 118-60 victory.

"It was a nightmare for us," said Alcorn State coach Larry Smith. "State is a very good team and they came out and played very well. They did whatever they wanted to do. They made shots, rebounded the basketball and they were very athletic. We were just unable to control them throughout the game."

Smith was impressed with Michigan State's athleticism at every position.

"When you have athletes like that, chances of winning are great," said Smith. "If they keep playing like that, they are going to be very hard to beat."

After seeing a number of upsets throughout the day leading up to Michigan State's game, Izzo was concerned that his team could run into some of the pitfalls that swallowed up Kansas, Tennessee, and nearly did in Ohio State. But Michigan State played as well against Alcorn State as they had practiced during the week leading up to the game.

"We had a great week of practice, which is odd for finals week," said Izzo. "We might have had the most impressive four days of practice in a row so far which is impressive for having that during finals."

Michigan State's 35 assists set a new school record. The old mark of 32 assists in a game came against Loyola-Chicago (2000), Michigan (2000), and Morehead State (1992).

"If I had to pick one topic of which I am the most proud today is the 35 assists off of 44 baskets," said Izzo. "I thought our point guards, Kalin (Lucas) did a great job of distributing early, Korie (Lucious) came in and did a pretty nice job. Chris Allen who I said is playing better and better, maybe played his best game. And Delvon (Roe) played much better after a slow start today."

Lucious led Michigan State with 11 assists. Lucas added 8 assists with zero turnovers in 25 minutes.

Allen scored 20 points on 7-of-9 shooting including 4-of-5 shooting from 3-point range.

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