UMKC routed 89-54 by No. 19 Michigan State
Matt Brown has seen his UMKC team get routed by a Big Ten power before. He just hopes what follows is the same.
Trinity Hall scored 16 points and Kirk Korver added 11 in the Kangaroos' 89-54 loss to No. 19 Michigan State on Monday night. UMKC (7-6) had won six of seven since a 46-point loss to Wisconsin last month.
''That other game really helped us,'' Brown said. ''In our league, we're not going to see teams like that, and our ultimate goal is to win the league.''
On the other side, Tom Izzo liked what he saw in the Spartans' 10th straight win, but wants to see a lot more before next week's Big Ten opener
''The best thing for me was the unselfishness of this team,'' Izzo said. ''We had a lot of inside-out passes. There are no black holes on this team.''
Branden Dawson had eight points in the first few minutes and finished with a career-high 16 points on 8-for-12 shooting from the field for Michigan State (10-2).
''We're finally seeing Branden Dawson emerge a little bit,'' Izzo said. ''He knocked a few ball loose and got out on the break a little bit. But we thought he'd be a Jason Richardson-type rebounder from the wing. Right now, he can't carry Richardson's bags.
Brandon Wood also had 16 points, including 4-for-4 shooting from 3-point range, as Michigan State grabbed a 16-2 lead and never led by fewer than 10 points again.
''We have big men who can score, so when we feed the ball into them, teams tend to collapse, so that leaves open shots for us on the perimeter,'' Wood said. ''That's one thing we've been working on, getting the ball inside more.
Draymond Green added 10 points and 11 rebounds for the Spartans, his sixth double-double this season, while Adreian Payne had 11 points.
Michigan State led 21-7 midway through the first half, with Dawson singlehandedly outscoring UMKC by one point. The highlight of the game, a Green-to-Dawson alley-oop dunk, reflected the Spartans' obvious edge in size and athleticism.
''It's kind of tough getting down early to a team that's that good and that well-coached,'' Korver said. ''Usually, if you're gonna beat somebody like that, you've gotta come out early and get a lead, but we didn't get that tonight. It was kind of tough to fight back all night. They're a good team.''
Michigan State had clear advantages in most aspects of play and shot 61 percent from the field to UMKC's 38 percent. The Spartans shot 57 percent beyond the arc, compared to 29 percent for the Kangaroos, and had 25 assists on 35 baskets, including eight by Keith Appling.
''Keith doesn't get enough credit because his stats aren't off the wall,'' Izzo said. ''He did it on both ends, knocked some balls lose and played incredible defense on a guy I'm telling you is a great player.''
Izzo was talking about UMKC's Reggie Chamberlain, who was 0 for 5 from the field and failed to score.
The Big Ten's top rebounding team outworked UMKC 37-27 despite getting just nine offensive boards.
''I think tonight was probably one of our better defensive rebounding performances that we've had all season,'' Hall said. ''If we would have come out with a little more intensity as a team, it wouldn't have been as bad as it was.''
Though the Spartans were 0 for 4 at the foul line in the first half, they led 40-20 and quickly expanded the margin to 30, and then 43.
The Spartans' only scare came when center Derrick Nix hurt his left ankle with 15:52 left and was helped from the court to the training room. But the crowd roared when he walked back to the bench a few minutes later.
Michigan State's biggest problem again came at the foul line, where they missed 11 of 22, including Green's two tries after a technical foul on the UMKC bench.
''I'd see us rebound and shoot free throws better,'' Izzo said. ''When you're seeing balls get knocked loose and turn into layups for the other team, that's not Michigan State basketball.''
The Spartans host Lehigh on Thursday night before opening conference play against unbeaten Indiana on Dec. 28.
The Kangaroos also start Summit League play on Dec. 28 when they host Oral Roberts.