OAK
MICHST

No Text

Ward scores 25 in Michigan State's 77-65 win over Oakland

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) Nick Ward made the most of his first opportunity to start.

The freshman forward scored a season-high 25 points and grabbed nine rebounds, helping Michigan State pull away to beat Oakland 77-65 on Wednesday night.

''I had a different type of energy,'' Ward said.

Thanks to shooting 200 free throws a day, Ward had a different result at the line. After entering the game as a 53 percent shooter at the line, he was 11 of 17 against Oakland.

''He has lived on the free throw line,'' Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said. ''Even his misses looked good.''

The Spartans (8-5) closed their non-conference season with a desperately needed win, coming off a loss to Northeastern.

''I don't feel very good about where we are, but I wouldn't get too nervous out there because this team is getting better,'' Izzo said.

The Golden Grizzlies (9-3) lost to Northeastern at home on Tuesday night, giving them a tough turnaround.

''We play a lot of guys anyways,'' Oakland's Jalen Hayes said. ''So that didn't affect us.''

Foul trouble, though, did hurt the Grizzlies' chances of beating Michigan State for the first time in 15 matchups.

Michigan State took control of the sloppy, turnover- and foul-filled game with an 11-2 run midway through the second half. Ward later made a low-post shot off his own miss, giving the Spartans a 68-55 lead with 4:46 left.

The Spartans didn't have a player other than Ward score in double figures until late in the game. Eron Harris finished with 15 points. Freshman point guard Cassius Winston had nine points and eight assists in his first start.

Hayes scored 11 points in 12 minutes before fouling out in front of friends and family in attendance to watch the former Lansing Sexton High School star.

''They couldn't guard him,'' Oakland coach Greg Kampe said.

Stevie Clark had 13 points, Martez Walker scored 11 and Sherron Dorsey-Walker added 10 points for the Grizzlies.

BIG PICTURE

Oakland: The Grizzlies are testing themselves this week, scheduling consecutive games along with a matchup coming up against Georgia, and it should pay off for them in the Horizon League.

''I think you learn better from these games than from blowing people out,'' Kampe said.

Michigan State: The Spartans shook up their lineup, starting Ward along with Winston and Matt Van Dyk for the first time. They also put Matt McQuaid back in the lineup and kept only Joshua Langford among the first five from the previous game.

''I don't know who I'm going to start next week,'' Izzo said. ''I might just leave it up to the practices.''

INJURY REPORT

Miles Bridges missed his fifth straight game with a sprained left ankle. The standout freshman was wearing a protective boot on the bench during the game, but didn't have it on the previous night when he watched Michigan State's women's team lose to second-ranked Notre Dame.

''We put the boot back on him just because my trainer was afraid someone would step on his foot,'' Izzo said. ''Monday, they will check him again. He's making progress, but it's very slow.''

U-G-L-Y

Michigan State had more turnovers (12) and as many fouls (11) as field goals in the first half. Oakland had more turnovers (12) and fouls (14) than field goals (11) before halftime. The game didn't end much better with 39 turnovers, 54 fouls and 43 shots made on 105 attempts.

''It was a fist fight,'' Izzo said.

UP NEXT

Oakland: The Grizzlies host Georgia on Friday night as part of a two-for-one deal that had them play the Bulldogs twice on the road.

Michigan State: The Spartans open the Big Ten season Tuesday night at Minnesota, a game Izzo lamented was too close to Christmas.

''I think is a shame,'' Izzo said.

---

More AP college basketball: http://collegebasketball.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP-Top25

---

Follow Larry Lage at www.twitter.com/larrylage

Copyright 2016 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.

Key Players
Min. Per Game
Pts. Per Game
Ast. Per Game
Reb. Per Game
Field Goal %
Three Point %
Free Throw %
  Defensive rebound by Joshua Langford 3.0
  Martez Walker missed 3-pt. jump shot 5.0
+ 1 Eron Harris made 2nd of 2 free throws 10.0
+ 1 Eron Harris made 1st of 2 free throws 10.0
  Personal foul on Xavier Hill-Mais 10.0
  Defensive rebound by Alvin Ellis III 13.0
  Martez Walker missed layup 15.0
+ 1 Eron Harris made 2nd of 2 free throws 25.0
+ 1 Eron Harris made 1st of 2 free throws 25.0
+ 1 Matt McQuaid made 2nd of 2 free throws 25.0
  Matt McQuaid missed 1st of 2 free throws 25.0
Team Stats
Points 65 77
Field Goals 21-57 (36.8%) 23-48 (47.9%)
3-Pointers 8-24 (33.3%) 7-16 (43.8%)
Free Throws 15-21 (71.4%) 24-37 (64.9%)
Total Rebounds 34 37
Offensive 12 12
Defensive 18 24
Team 4 1
Assists 10 15
Steals 11 11
Blocks 5 7
Turnovers 20 17
Fouls 29 25
Technicals 1 0
13 PTS, 3 AST
25 PTS, 9 REB
12T
away team logo Oakland 9-3 323365
home team logo Michigan State 8-5 344377
Team Stats
away team logo Oakland 9-3 76.7 PPG 34.9 RPG 17.6 APG
home team logo Michigan State 8-5 77.6 PPG 43.3 RPG 18.3 APG
Key Players
00
S. Clark G PPG RPG APG FG%
44
N. Ward F 12.9 PPG 6.1 RPG 0.7 APG 58.0 FG%
Top Scorers
S. Clark G 13 PTS 0 REB 3 AST
N. Ward F 25 PTS 9 REB 0 AST
36.8 FG% 47.9
33.3 3PT FG% 43.8
71.4 FT% 64.9
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
S. Clark 13 0 3 4/11 2/4 3/3 3 28 2 0 6 0 0
J. Hayes 11 2 0 3/4 1/1 4/4 5 12 0 0 1 1 1
M. Walker 11 7 0 2/12 1/7 6/8 1 35 2 0 3 1 6
S. Dorsey-Walker 10 2 4 4/11 2/6 0/1 5 26 1 0 3 1 1
I. Brock 2 6 0 1/2 0/0 0/0 4 14 1 2 1 2 4
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
S. Clark 13 0 3 4/11 2/4 3/3 3 28 2 0 6 0 0
J. Hayes 11 2 0 3/4 1/1 4/4 5 12 0 0 1 1 1
M. Walker 11 7 0 2/12 1/7 6/8 1 35 2 0 3 1 6
S. Dorsey-Walker 10 2 4 4/11 2/6 0/1 5 26 1 0 3 1 1
I. Brock 2 6 0 1/2 0/0 0/0 4 14 1 2 1 2 4
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
X. Hill-Mais 8 4 0 4/7 0/0 0/0 5 18 0 3 2 3 1
C. Palombizio 4 2 1 1/2 1/1 1/2 0 14 0 0 0 2 0
B. Brechting 3 5 1 1/1 0/0 1/2 5 20 3 0 0 1 4
B. Neely 3 1 1 1/3 1/2 0/0 0 13 1 0 2 0 1
N. Daniels 0 1 0 0/4 0/3 0/1 0 18 1 0 1 1 0
J. Cumberland 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 2 0 0 1 0 0
A. Frascone - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 65 30 10 21/57 8/24 15/21 29 200 11 5 20 12 18
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
N. Ward 25 9 0 7/12 0/0 11/17 2 25 0 1 3 5 4
C. Winston 9 3 8 4/10 1/3 0/2 2 30 2 1 3 0 3
J. Langford 5 1 0 2/2 1/1 0/0 3 15 1 0 2 0 1
M. McQuaid 4 0 2 1/6 1/5 1/2 2 22 2 0 2 0 0
M. Van Dyk 1 7 2 0/2 0/0 1/2 4 23 1 2 1 5 2
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
N. Ward 25 9 0 7/12 0/0 11/17 2 25 0 1 3 5 4
C. Winston 9 3 8 4/10 1/3 0/2 2 30 2 1 3 0 3
J. Langford 5 1 0 2/2 1/1 0/0 3 15 1 0 2 0 1
M. McQuaid 4 0 2 1/6 1/5 1/2 2 22 2 0 2 0 0
M. Van Dyk 1 7 2 0/2 0/0 1/2 4 23 1 2 1 5 2
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
E. Harris 15 3 1 4/8 1/3 6/6 3 23 3 0 1 1 2
A. Ellis III 8 4 1 2/3 2/3 2/2 2 25 1 1 1 1 3
K. Ahrens 7 0 0 2/2 1/1 2/3 3 4 0 0 0 0 0
K. Goins 3 8 0 1/3 0/0 1/1 4 22 0 2 2 0 8
L. Nairn Jr. 0 1 1 0/0 0/0 0/2 0 11 1 0 2 0 1
B. Carter - - - - - - - - - - - - -
G. Schilling - - - - - - - - - - - - -
C. George - - - - - - - - - - - - -
G. Roy - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Bridges - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Nsengiyumva - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 77 36 15 23/48 7/16 24/37 25 200 11 7 17 12 24