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.