Tag:Kalin Lucas
Posted on: March 11, 2011 9:14 pm

Michigan State locates postseason magic

Kalin Lucas scored 30 in an upset of Purdue

Posted by Eric Angevine

Seriously, can we really never, ever, ever give up on the Michigan State Spartans?

A regular Final Four participant over the past five years, the Spartans finally seemed to be out of gas this season, sliding to a 9-9 record in the Big Ten. A win over rebuilding Iowa in the first round of the Big Ten tournament wasn't much to write home about. With a final score of 66-61, it was hardly impressive in terms of rising above the NCAA tourney bubble.

Then came tonight's effort. Kalin Lucas, a senior who doesn't want to go out without a return trip to the NCAA tournament, put up a stunning 30 point effort, hitting 4-6 three point buckets and 10-11 free throws to will his team to a big win. Getting to the semifinal is quite an achievement for this team. Doing it by beating Purdue -- a team playing for a No. 1 seed in the Big Dance -- is nothing short of mind-boggling.

Purdue beat Michigan State twice this season; by ten points in West Lafayette and then by 20 in East Lansing. So where did this 74-56 reversal of fortune come from? It's not really that hard to say.

Michigan State has always had the ingredients to win big games this season. They have senior leadership in the backcourt, the usual stellar recruits, and the coaching mind of Tom Izzo. Given enough time to simmer, that's bound to make something tasty. The player defections that dogged the program definitely cut into the success formula, and it may not be sustainable for long, but at least Michigan State fans have hope. They've seen that old spark again.

The Spartans now await the winner of the Big Ten nightcap. Either Wisconsin or Penn State will advance to face the old familiar foe. Only that team will look a little different this time.

Instead of the light-colored jerseys awarded to favored seeds on a neutral court, they'll come armored in forest green. But they'll still be the Spartans.

Photo: US Presswire

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Posted on: February 23, 2011 7:10 am

The Morning Drive: MSU notches big bubble win

Posted by Jeff Borzello

Bubble games, top-five teams looking to rebound, conference clashes, buzzer beaters – Tuesday had everything. This late in the season, seemingly every night has an enormous impact on Selection Sunday, and last night was no different. Feel free to fill me in on any stats and trends I might have missed on Twitter: @jeffborzello

Top Performer: We discussed him last night, but Ohio State’s David Lighty deserves another mention here. The Ohio State senior finished with 21 points, four rebounds and six steals in an 89-70 win over Illinois. More impressively, Lighty personally had 13 consecutive points in a three-minute span during the second half, also notching three steals in that stretch. Illinois’ late-season struggles continue – the Illini shouldn’t feel safe just yet.

Mr. Big Shot: With 2.4 seconds left remaining in a tied game against UNC-Asheville, Coastal Carolina inbounded the ball under its own basket. However, the Bulldogs’ Matt Dickey read the pass and intercepted it, before knocking down a hanging 25-foot 3-pointer at the buzzer to give UNC-Asheville the win. It was the second loss in two games for the Chanticleers, who started Big South play with a 15-0 record.

Stat-Sheet Stuffer: Xavier’s Tu Holloway came just one rebound away from his second-consecutive triple-double in the Musketeers’ 38-point victory over La Salle. Holloway totaled 12 points, nine rebounds and 15 assists, just three days after going for 26 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists against Fordham. He leads the nation in triple-doubles this season, with two.

Failure to Finish: Vanderbilt looked like it had a win locked up against Tennessee last night, leading by 11 with about 13 minutes left. After the Commodores went up 42-31, the Volunteers outscored them, 29-9, for the rest of the game. Even worse, Vanderbilt was held scoreless for the final 5:02. Not surprisingly, Tennessee emerged with a huge road victory, 60-51. Scotty Hopson led the way for the Volunteers with 19 points.

Bubbling: In the biggest bubble battle of the night, Michigan State went into Minnesota and came out with a big-time road win over the Golden Gophers, 53-48. After Minnesota took a 47-39 lead on a lay-up by Chip Armelin, Michigan State went on a 14-1 run to end the game, fueled by nine free throws in that span. Kalin Lucas sparked the victory with 18 points and four steals. With this result, Minnesota drops to 6-9 in the Big Ten, leaving the Gophers in serious trouble. The Spartans move above .500 in conference play and are now on the right track towards an NCAA bid -- for now.

In a Losing Effort: Mississippi’s Chris Warren hasn’t received the attention he deserves this season because of the Rebels’ struggles, but he remains one of the offensive better point guards around. Warren proved that on Tuesday, knocking down eight 3-pointers en route to a 33-point performance against South Carolina. Despite the 79-73 loss, Warren notched double-digits in points for the 27th time in 28 games.

Dub-Dubbing: After posting just two double-doubles in the first 23 games of the season, Saint Louis forward Dwayne Evans has picked up three in the last four games, with the latest possibly being the most impressive. In a 90-52 win over Chicago State, Evans went for 16 points and 17 rebounds, going 6-for-11 from the field. He also racked up three blocks on the defensive end.

Defensive Dominance: Despite South Carolina’s struggles, big man Sam Muldrow continues to cement himself as one of the best shot-blockers in the country. On Tuesday, he also contributed big numbers in other facets of the game, finishing with 23 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks in a win over Mississippi. It was his fifth double-double of the year.

Set the DVR: There’s one top-25 game tonight, an intriguing non-conference tilt between Temple and Duke. It will be the Blue Devils’ first game since taking back over the No. 1 spot – how will they respond? Moreover, we have plenty of statement games from bubble teams. Colorado State has a last stand at BYU, Cincinnati heads on the road against Georgetown, Michigan hosts Wisconsin in a must-win and Baylor faces Missouri. Interesting bubble battles include Kansas State vs. Nebraska and Florida State vs. Maryland.

Numbers Don’t Lie:

  • Xavier notched 30 assists on its 35 field-goals last night.
  • Illinois has dropped eight of its last 12 games.
  • Rutgers made just 13 field-goals in its 55-37 loss to Louisville. The Scarlet Knights shot just 29.5 percent from the field.
  • The 37 points by Rutgers were its fewest since 2007.
  • In his last six games, Durrell Summers is averaging 6.0 points and shooting 26 percent from the field.
  • After going 7-for-29 in his last two games, Texas’ Jordan Hamilton shot 7-for-14 last night en route to 20 points and eight rebounds in the Longhorns’ 76-53 win over Iowa State.

Notes and Notables:

  • Virginia Tech avoided a terrible loss by heading to Wake Forest and blowing out the Demon Deacons, 76-62.  
  • Memphis also kept its at-large hopes alive with an 11-point home win over Houston.

Photo: US Presswire

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