Michigan State (20-3 overall, 8-2 Big Ten) came back from a 13-point halftime deficit against Maryland (15-8, 4-6) men’s basketball to claim a 74-68 road win on Sunday.
The Spartans moved to 3-1 in true road games behind 19 points from Josh Langford. Cassius Winston (13 points), Jaren Jackson Jr. (12) and Miles Bridges (11) all finished in double figures as well. Nick Ward added 12 rebounds, 8 of which came on the offensive end.
WHY: Michigan State got Cassius Winston and Jaren Jackson Jr. back. The two of them missed a good chunk of the first half with foul trouble, but once they returned, the offense got its punch back. Their shooting ability unclogged the lane and allowed Nick Ward to go to work. That improved confidence translated to the other end of the court.
WHAT IT MEANS: Michigan State showed a mental toughness on the road that it hasn’t for much of the season. The Spartans trailed for the entire first half and went into the break trailing 37-24, but it took them 7:14 of the second half to tie things up. Michigan State remains right in the thick of the Big Ten race as it inches closer to a battle with Purdue on Feb. 10.
WHO STARRED: Jaren Jackson Jr. As usual, foul trouble was his most challenging foe. But when Jackson was in the game, he was phenomenal. In the first 1:14 of the second half, he hit a pair of trailing 3-pointers after grabbing a rebound on the other end, helping to push Michigan State forward in its comeback. And with the Spartans leading by 4 points with less than a minute remaining, he had a block and a rebound to keep them in control.
— Michigan St. on BTN (@MichiganStOnBTN) January 28, 2018
WHO STUMBLED: Matt McQuaid. When the junior guard is hitting shots and defending hard for Michigan State, the Spartans become even tougher to beat. Sunday wasn’t one of his best days. McQuaid went scoreless, finishing 0 for 2 from the field in 16 minutes.
WHO WAS THERE: One of the best student sections in the nation was at its best on Sunday, allowing Maryland to quickly build on momentum and establish a double-digit lead. Michigan State, though, did well to quiet the rowdy crowd for much of the second half.
WHO IS NEXT: Michigan State returns home to face Penn State on Wednesday. The game is scheduled to tip off at 6:30 p.m. ET on the Big Ten Network. It will be the lone meeting between the Spartans and Nittany Lions this season.
— Luke Srodulski (@lsrodulski) January 28, 2018