No. 12 Michigan State lost its season opener to No. 10 Arizona, 65-63, Friday night in Honolulu as Arizona senior Kadeem Allen made a driving layup with 1.9 seconds left.
Michigan State junior point guard Tum Tum Nairn made a 3-pointer with 9.0 left to tie the game but Allen drove the length of the court for the game-winner.
The Spartans jumped out to a 17-2 lead in the first half but trailed 34-30 at halftime after going 8:03 without a point during one stretch in the first half. They trailed 43-34 in the second half before making a 10-1 run capped by a Matt McQuaid 3-pointer to tie the score, 44-44, with 13:43 left to play. Michigan State had a 56-52 lead with 7:23 left on another McQuaid 3-pointer.
WHY: The Spartans committed 18 turnovers and had a couple of crucial scoring droughts. They led 21-11 in the first half but didn’t score again until Arizona had run off 14 straight points for a 25-21 lead. Michigan State scored just five points in the final 4:46 of the game, and Nairn’s 3-pointer was its first points in 2:51.
WHAT IT MEANS: Michigan State’s November schedule to remember is off to the kind of start you would expect. Arizona is the first of at least three preseason top-15 teams Michigan State will play the first month of the season. The win/loss record won’t be as important as the learning experiences this young team will undergo.
WHO STARRED: Freshman Miles Bridges started strong with 7 points in the opening 4 minutes, including a baseline drive for a slam dunk. He finished with 21 points and 7 rebounds in his first college game. Fellow freshman Nick Ward stepped up and produced 9 points and 4 rebounds off the bench. Nairn helped spark the second half comeback by getting to the lane more often against Arizona’s taller interior players.
? Miles Bridges making his presence known! https://t.co/TzwUoSrc0o
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) November 12, 2016
WHO STUMBLED: Senior guard Eron Harris picked up his third foul less than 2 minutes into the second half and wasn’t much of a factor on the offensive end, although he did hit a jumper with 4:43 left to give the Spartans a 58-57 lead. Harris finished with 7 points on 3-of-8 shooting. Freshman point guard Cassius Winston played just 10 minutes in large part because he picked up 3 fouls in 6 minutes in the first half.
WHO WAS THERE: Approximately 6,000 military members attended the Armed Forces Classic game on Veterans Day. The 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor is Dec. 7 and much of this event was centered on honoring that memory.
WHO IS NEXT: Michigan State leaves Hawaii and heads to New York City and Madison Square Garden to play No. 2 Kentucky in the Champions Classic next Tuesday (Nov. 15) at 7 p.m. The game will be on ESPN.
Final box of Michigan State's 65-63 loss to Arizona. pic.twitter.com/SE4N7RRRXY
— Kevin Goheen (@CincyGoGo) November 12, 2016