A few days removed from winning the Big Ten tournament title, the question for East Region No. 4 seed Michigan State was whether or not they’d be able to build on the momentum that has led to many picking them to reach the Final Four. Thanks in large part to Adreian Payne, Tom Izzo’s team advanced to the round of 32 with a 93-78 win over Delaware in Spokane.
Payne scored a career-high 41 points, with 23 of those coming in the first half as Michigan State took control of the game against the CAA champions. The senior forward was nearly unstoppable, making ten of his 15 shot attempts from the field and all 17 of his free throws while also grabbing eight rebounds.
As a team Michigan State shot 53.6% from the field and 10-for-18 from beyond the arc, finding the looks they desired for much of the afternoon. While there were a couple lulls, allowing the Blue Hens to remain within striking distance, it didn’t seem as if the Spartans were truly threatened against a team they matched up well with.
However Payne wasn’t the only standout for Michigan State, as guard Travis Trice contributed 19 points and three rebounds off the bench. With Keith Appling and Denzel Valentine combining to score just seven points against Delaware, Trice’s scoring output gave Michigan State a welcome boost. In total four Spartans scored in double figures, and Appling tallied seven assists with just two turnovers.
Next up for Michigan State is No. 12 Harvard, which beat No. 5 Cincinnati 61-57 in the first game of the day in Spokane.
Already lacking depth, No. 13 Iowa State will be short a key contributor Saturday when they take on Oklahoma State in Stillwater.
Friday night it was announced that senior forward Jameel McKay has been suspended indefinitely by head coach Steve Prohm and did not make the trip with the team. McKay, who’s been dealing with knee issues recently, is averaging 12.4 points and a team-high 9.0 rebounds per game on the season.
Over the last six games he’s averaging 7.7 points and 8.7 rebounds per contest, shooting 60.6 percent from the field.
McKay has been asked to man the middle for a team lacking in both size and depth, with Georges Niang shifting over to the five when McKay needs a break for either rest or foul trouble reasons. Without McKay even more responsibility falls upon the shoulders of Niang, Abdel Nader and Deonte Burton in the front court.
The Cyclones are looking to end a two-game losing streak, and even with Oklahoma State’s struggles accomplishing that gets tougher with McKay out of the lineup.
News of McKay’s suspension was first reported by the Ames Tribune.
LAS VEGAS (AP) UNLV junior guard Daquan Cook has been dismissed from the team.
Interim coach Todd Simon made the announcement on Friday, though no reason was given.
Cook was suspended for 13 games by previous coach Dave Rice in November after being arrested and charged with DUI.
Cook appeared in two games this season after being reinstated, scoring three points in four minutes. He missed the 2014-15 season after tearing his right ACL and played 28 games as a sophomore.