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PARADISE ISLAND NASSAU, Bahamas – For a while, things looked earnest for Michigan State today. The Spartans strike threes. Crashed a boards. Pushed it on a mangle after each Baylor miss.
That all led to an early 10-point lead in a semifinals of a Battle 4 Atlantis. Turns out it was a mirage. Especially after Baylor switched a invulnerability during halftime.
Gone were a open looks MSU found in Baylor’s first-half zone. The change to man-to-man extended a Bears’ vigour and rattled a immature Spartans. They couldn’t score. And afterwards they couldn’t defend.
Baylor rode a plan switch – along with energy brazen Johnathan Motley’s diversion high 26 points — to a 73-58 win, advancing to Friday’s final and promulgation MSU to a satisfaction bracket.
“I don’t know if we ran out of gas in a second half,” pronounced MSU conduct coach, Tom Izzo. “I suspicion they came out in and punched us in a mouth and we didn’t consider we responded.”
Izzo credited Baylor with a surge, though he suspicion a transport and miss of credentials harm his team.
“I consider it held adult with us a tiny bit,” he said. “We usually need some-more time to ready than we’ve had. And this turnaround was roughly insane. We usually don’t have a group that we can change adequate things right now to accommodate that.”
In a initial half, when MSU was creation shots and Baylor was struggling from a outside, it was Motley who kept a Bears in it. His collection of turnarounds, burst hooks and dunks impressed whomever rhythmical him.
Kenny Goins, during 6 feet 6, was too small. Nick Ward, during 6-9, was too slow, and too tainted prone. Still, MSU survived a low-post imbalance since of a three-point shooting.
The Spartans strike 5 early threes, dual by sophomore Matt McQuaid, one by beginner Cassius Winston, one by Harris and one by Miles Bridges.
Even Tum Tum Nairn, who set a career high in threes Wednesday night opposite St. John’s, assimilated a shot-happy action. He strike a 3 to assistance MSU (3-3) keep momentum.
Nairn pronounced a transport has been tough though that a group isn’t physically sleepy from a jet-setting.
“We can’t make excuses for it,” he said. “We have to do a improved job.”
After struggling to lift divided from a bad St. John’s team, Izzo motionless to shake adult a starting lineup. He extrinsic beginner wing Josh Langford for McQuaid anticipating to get him going. Langford scored 4 first-half points though still showed hesitancy. He traveled, and frequency looked to shoot.
Langford is a improved defensive player, too, and when Baylor’s fringe players couldn’t make shots, a change looked good.
Baylor began a stand behind with a banked three-pointer from Motley, a 6-10 forward, with about 5:20 left in a half and down by eight. Though he benefited from some luck, his work down low was all ability and size. He went 9-for-16 in a initial half and scored 20 points
MSU, meanwhile, went cold a final several mins of a initial half, going 2-for-9 down a stretch. MSU had non-stop a 10-point lead by using after Baylor misses and operative a round around a matchup section for good looks. Nick Ward punctuated a run with a asperse on a run-out. He was fouled and done a giveaway throw.
Baylor non-stop a second half with a 12-2 run, including dual threes and dual dunks, to pitch a three-point halftime necessity into a seven-point lead. MSU cut it to 5 3 opposite times – on dual giveaway throws from Kenny Goins and Ward – though Baylor kept creation shots and anticipating Motley and incited a 12-2 run into a 23-8 run.
“They harm us in a weakness, they went inside,” pronounced Izzo. “We looked extremely tired. That’s my fault, not theirs. We’ve got to contest a tiny harder, though we’ve got to be a tiny fresher to do that. we suspicion Baylor played extremely good in a second half and we didn’t.”
Bridges led MSU with 15. He was a usually Spartan in double figures. Eron Harris struggled to fire for a second diversion in a row. He finished with 3 points on 1-for-9 shooting.
The Spartans will play a crook of a Louisville-Wichita State semifinal Friday.
Contact Shawn Windsor: 313-222-6487 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @shawnwindsor.