Miles Bridges after loss to Michigan: 'Teams are out-toughing us'

Miles Bridges after loss to Michigan: 'Teams are out-toughing us'

Saturday's contest will be the only meeting between the in-state rivals this season. That was the last time these two teams matched up and Michigan State is ready to avenge that loss.

And there was nothing they could do about it.

"Yeah, they played harder than us", senior guard Lourawls Nairn said. "Everything about it was sick".

"Maryland's a really good team, and winning here is never easy for anybody". The Spartans have been careless with the ball this season, averaging 13.7 turnovers a game, which is just slightly below the 14.3 takeaways MI gets per game. They rushed their shots on offense as they tried to find a rhythm with Christinaki, who became the only bright spot in an otherwise torpid first-half offense.

"We were supposed to be tough, rebound and execute, and I don't think we did those things tonight".

Michigan State's Miles Bridges had 19 points, six rebounds, five assists and two steals. "It's something you gotta have". "They are playing well too, so we just have to bring it and if we don't, we are going to have a loss on our home court and we don't want that".

The Wolverines will have to start strong and shoot well from the beginning in order to keep this game close, especially considering the Spartans are coming off a loss against Ohio State and a thrilling overtime game against Rutgers. That turned out to be as big a factor as the Wolverines (15-4, 4-2) could have hoped.

The junior forward made 8 of 13 field-goal attempts and all eight of his free throws to surpass his previous best of 26 points, set in last season's NCAA tournament against Louisville. MI exploited it often with guards Zavier Simpson, Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman and Charles Matthews running it to perfection. "But at the same time he deserved to". “He walked it. He played it.”. "I'm good at that".

Jaren Jackson had 19 points and six blocks, limited by foul trouble for the Spartans. Bridges went just 3 of 9 shooting in the second half after making 4 of 5 early, finishing with six rebounds and five assists.

"I played against him in high school on the AAU circuit and he was tough back then", he said. The Wolverines shot 60 percent from the field and outscored Michigan State 30-7 in points off turnovers in the 86-57 rout that proved to be the largest margin of victory in the series since 1996.

The plan changed for the Wolverines after halftime. Freeman fouled out in overtime, and Michigan State made 11 of 12 free throws in the extra session to pull it out.

But MSU once again countered. The Spartans (13-5, 3-2) shot 45 percent from the floor and were led by the fiery 5-foot-5 guard Taryn McCutcheon, who posted a career-high 25 points.

"I know our kids will be better from this game", Wolverines coach John Beilein said.

Michigan State had the biggest lead in the game with an advantage of 16 at one point. "You can't just hone in on one of them, you have to play well against all of them".

One of my questions heading into the game was how would Nick Ward play, as the center tends to disappear in games.

"Some guys have to grow up a little bit".

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