Farmer's Quick Hits - Willie the Wildcat Edition

Farmer's Quick Hits - Willie the Wildcat Edition

Basketball

Farmer's Quick Hits - Willie the Wildcat Edition

By Chris Farmer, Contributing Writer/Reporter, SpartansWire.com

@MSUfarmdog

JANUARY 2nd, 2019

Why State Grabbed The W…

On a day that the great wrestling announcer “Mean Gene” Okerlund passed away, Nick Ward and Xavier Tillman looked like world tag team champions as they out muscled and hustled Northwestern.

The Spartans raced out to 52-32 halftime lead shooting a blistering 72%.

The Green & White never looked back, out-willing the Wildcats 81-55.

“We played as good as we have this year” said Coach Izzo, who’s team moves to 12-2 overall, 3-0 in the Big Ten.

The Cats had no answer for the Spartan front court who dropped 55 points in the paint.

Ward had the “stink face” going early “moonwalking” and maneuvering his way for a game high 21 points.

Running mate Tillman had an efficient 14 points and 8 rebounds to go along with 8 points and 12 boards from Kenny Goins.

Floor general Cassius Winston kept the poise and pace with 12 points and a game high 12 assists.

It was a dominating performance from the get-go that would have left most conference opponents tapping out.

“Michigan State brought the fight to us tonight” said Cats head coach Chris Collins. “We never matched their speed or physicality.”

Who Stepped Up?

Spartan Nation had worried looks early on seeing Joshua Langford sitting on the bench, his foot in a protective boot.

But wings Kyle Ahrens and Matt McQuaid kept the cohesion, scoring 21 points combined.

Langford had a MRI and news should come Friday on how long the team will be without their sensational 2-guard.

The McQuaid injury early on in the season could be a blessing in disguise if Langford is out an extended period of time, as Ahrens has been amazing and Izzo’s squad has learned to play with different lineups.

What’s Next?

With 5 of the next 7 on the road, the B1G gauntlet rolls on for Michigan State.

The Spartans head to #14 Ohio State for a Top 15 matchup at high noon on Saturday in Columbus.

Michigan State seems to have it all going right now.

How they perform in Columbus on Saturday will be a interesting test.

But on this night, the Spartans did their best to pay a respectful and suitable tribute to Mean Gene by dismantling Northwestern and exploding back into Big Ten play in a way Mean Gene would have enjoyed…

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