Brown scores 24 points as Michigan State’s No.10 defeats High Point


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Michigan State coach Tom Izzo reacts during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against High Point on Wednesday, December 29, 2021, in East Lansing, Michigan. Michigan State won 81-68. (AP Photo / Al Goldis)

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Gabe Brown scored a career-high 24 points, as the Michigan State’s No 10 shorthanded second half moved away in the second half to beat High Point 81-68 in Wednesday’s game between the coaching friends longtime Tom Izzo and Tubby Smith.

Michigan State (11-2, 2-0 Big Ten) was without four players, including starters Marcus Bingham Jr. and Max Christie, who tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this week.

“Mentally, I was in my own head, because of the missed shots,” Brown said. “When I got to that stretch, my teammates found me, and I believed in myself, and I just reversed the shots.”

The team captain started 2 for 10 from the floor but finished 7 for 17, including three of his six 3-pointers in three minutes after High Point tied him at 56-56 with 9:05 to go .

“When he knocks down shots, looking for his shot, that’s when we’re at our best,” said Joey Houser, who had a high 17 points to play with 11 rebounds for the Spartans. , who shot 65% in the second half.

Jaden House collected 11 of his 18 points in the first half for High Point (6-7), but John-Michael Wright was limited to 10 points, less than half his average.

“If he shoots like he’s able to, we’re in the game until the end,” Smith said. “I’m a believer. I think our players believe it. But you know… when they kick in, you’ve got to do the same.

BIG PICTURE

Highlight: The Panthers have played games all season, with competitive losses to Notre Dame and UNC Wilmington, and after a 30-point win over Chowan on November 27, their next six games were decided by 22 points overall . They led to the 12-minute mark for the second half on Wednesday, and tied him 56-56 with 8:58 remaining.

Michigan State: Unranked at the start of the season, MSU was not going to let COVID absences knock them out of the top 10, extending their winning streak to seven in a row since the Nov. 26 loss to No.1 Baylor.

FOLLOWING

Highlight: The Panthers face the Kentucky No.19 on Friday at Rupp Arena, where Smith will be honored in a pre-game ceremony, becoming the fourth coach to have his jersey rolled up to the rafters. Smith led the Wildcats to 262 wins and 10 NCAA tournament appearances in 10 seasons from 1997 to 2007, including the 1998 National Championship.

Michigan State: Izzo expects the Spartans to be at full strength when they return to the Big Ten on Sunday with a visit to Northwestern, where the Wildcats then beat No. 4 MSU, 79-65, last December to put end to a 12-game losing streak in the series.

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