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Ward's big day helps No. 9 Michigan St rout Green Bay 104-83

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) Michigan State gave up a basket, and Nick Ward immediately took off. The 6-foot-9, 245-pound forward beat everyone down the court and took a long pass for a layup.

Ward scored 22 of his 28 points in a nearly perfect first half to help the ninth-ranked Spartans rout Green Bay 104-83 on Sunday night. Ward made all nine of his field goal attempts in the first half, although he did miss a free throw. He was particularly impressive in transition and appeared to relish an up-tempo game.

''I've been doing that since forever, since I was little,'' Ward said. ''That's just off of pure effort. Running takes no skill.''

Ward also made his first two shots of the second half and finished 12 of 13.

Sandy Cohen III scored 22 points for Green Bay, which actually led 24-20 before a 27-4 run by Michigan State. The Phoenix (6-6) had only one timeout left by halftime, but nothing they tried was enough to slow the Spartans.

Michigan State (9-2) made its last seven shots of the first half to take a 64-35 lead.

''This is a hard game for us, because we play fast, they play fast, and they're just faster,'' Green Bay coach Linc Darner said. ''But I thought the second half, our guys did a great job of battling and competing and staying respectable.''

The low point for the Phoenix was probably the end of the first half. Cassius Winston made a layup in the final seconds for Michigan State, and there was enough time for Xavier Tillman to steal the ball and add a 3-pointer .

For a while, the Spartans appeared to have a chance to break the school record of 121 points. They had 75 with 15 minutes remaining, but they couldn't keep up that pace and were actually outscored 48-40 in the second half.

''What I didn't like is, we have to learn how to finish,'' Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said. ''Finish games, finish practice and finish seasons. I didn't like the way we finished the last couple of seasons, so our motto has been: Let's try to finish every event, every day that we're doing. Today, we did not finish.''

BACK TO WORK

Izzo was clearly looking forward to having his players' attention for a few practices.

''For me, it's the greatest time of year, and it's not `cause it's Christmas. There's no school, there's no finals, there's no excuses. Most of the girlfriends are gone. Most of their buddies are gone, and we get four days to practice,'' Izzo said. ''We're going to do the opposite of my fellow Hall of Famer Allen Iverson: We're gonna practice, we're gonna to practice, and we're gonna practice.''

BIG PICTURE

Green Bay: The Phoenix have put up plenty of points this season. They're averaging 85 points a game. But they weren't able to take Michigan State out of its comfort zone, and they didn't do a good job stemming the tide when the Spartans went on their first-half run.

Michigan State: It was an energetic performance by Ward and the Spartans after a seven-day layoff. Michigan State had 31 assists on 38 baskets and outrebounded Green Bay 56-34. Sixteen different players played for the Spartans, and Izzo was even able to play an all-freshman lineup for a bit toward the end.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

No. 4 Gonzaga lost to North Carolina this weekend. The question is whether it would be too much of a jump for the Spartans to pass the Bulldogs.

UP NEXT

Green Bay: This was the second of four straight road games for the Phoenix. They play at Evansville on Saturday.

Michigan State: The Spartans host Oakland on Friday night.

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Key Players
S. Cohen III
1 G
C. Winston
5 G
31.0 Min. Per Game 31.0
15.4 Pts. Per Game 15.4
7.7 Ast. Per Game 7.7
2.2 Reb. Per Game 2.2
47.1 Field Goal % 40.9
38.2 Three Point % 38.7
69.8 Free Throw % 81.8
  Defensive rebound by Trevian Bell 0.0
  Brock Washington missed 3-pt. jump shot, blocked by TJ Parham 0.0
  Offensive rebound by Braden Burke 4.0
  Brock Washington missed layup 6.0
  Offensive rebound by Michigan State 10.0
  Brock Washington missed layup 11.0
+ 3 TJ Parham made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Hunter Crist 30.0
  Defensive rebound by Trevian Bell 39.0
  Brock Washington missed 3-pt. jump shot 41.0
+ 1 Jevon Smith made free throw 54.0
  Shooting foul on Conner George 54.0
Team Stats
Points 83 104
Field Goals 30-74 (40.5%) 38-75 (50.7%)
3-Pointers 12-27 (44.4%) 11-28 (39.3%)
Free Throws 11-15 (73.3%) 17-26 (65.4%)
Total Rebounds 34 56
Offensive 3 14
Defensive 26 39
Team 5 3
Assists 18 31
Steals 6 7
Blocks 4 12
Turnovers 8 14
Fouls 22 20
Technicals 1 1
22 PTS, 4 REB, 5 AST
28 PTS, 9 REB, 1 AST
12T
away team logo Green Bay 6-6 354883
home team logo 9 Michigan State 9-2 6440104
Team Stats
away team logo Green Bay 6-6 81.3 PPG 40.7 RPG 15.2 APG
home team logo 9 Michigan State 9-2 77.6 PPG 43.3 RPG 18.3 APG
Key Players
1
S. Cohen III G 17.5 PPG 6.4 RPG 4.7 APG 47.5 FG%
44
N. Ward F 12.9 PPG 6.1 RPG 0.7 APG 58.0 FG%
Top Scorers
S. Cohen III G 22 PTS 4 REB 5 AST
N. Ward F 28 PTS 9 REB 1 AST
40.5 FG% 50.7
44.4 3PT FG% 39.3
73.3 FT% 65.4
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
S. Cohen III 22 4 5 8/18 3/6 3/4 3 34 2 0 2 0 4
J. McCloud 17 1 1 5/7 4/5 3/3 0 29 0 1 0 0 1
M. Patterson 10 4 0 5/9 0/0 0/0 4 20 0 0 0 0 4
P. Pipes 7 3 3 2/5 1/4 2/2 4 19 2 0 1 0 3
T. Hemphill 4 6 3 1/7 0/0 2/4 0 24 0 0 3 2 4
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
S. Cohen III 22 4 5 8/18 3/6 3/4 3 34 2 0 2 0 4
J. McCloud 17 1 1 5/7 4/5 3/3 0 29 0 1 0 0 1
M. Patterson 10 4 0 5/9 0/0 0/0 4 20 0 0 0 0 4
P. Pipes 7 3 3 2/5 1/4 2/2 4 19 2 0 1 0 3
T. Hemphill 4 6 3 1/7 0/0 2/4 0 24 0 0 3 2 4
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
K. Hankerson 11 2 4 5/9 1/4 0/1 1 22 0 2 1 1 1
C. Schwartz 3 1 1 1/5 1/4 0/0 2 13 0 0 1 0 1
T. Parham 3 0 0 1/3 1/2 0/0 1 6 1 1 0 0 0
J. Smith 3 0 0 1/4 0/1 1/1 0 4 0 0 0 0 0
T. Bell 3 5 0 1/2 1/1 0/0 2 13 0 0 0 0 5
H. Crist 0 0 1 0/0 0/0 0/0 2 6 0 0 0 0 0
J. McNair 0 3 0 0/5 0/0 0/0 3 10 1 0 0 0 3
W. Chevalier - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Powell - - - - - - - - - - - - -
B. King - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 83 29 18 30/74 12/27 11/15 22 200 6 4 8 3 26
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
N. Ward 28 9 1 12/13 0/0 4/7 3 26 0 4 2 4 5
C. Winston 16 6 12 5/12 2/5 4/5 2 28 0 0 2 0 6
J. Langford 13 7 4 6/13 1/4 0/0 3 27 0 0 5 1 6
M. McQuaid 12 1 1 5/10 2/5 0/0 2 23 1 0 1 1 0
K. Goins 0 9 3 0/2 0/2 0/0 2 17 0 2 3 4 5
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
N. Ward 28 9 1 12/13 0/0 4/7 3 26 0 4 2 4 5
C. Winston 16 6 12 5/12 2/5 4/5 2 28 0 0 2 0 6
J. Langford 13 7 4 6/13 1/4 0/0 3 27 0 0 5 1 6
M. McQuaid 12 1 1 5/10 2/5 0/0 2 23 1 0 1 1 0
K. Goins 0 9 3 0/2 0/2 0/0 2 17 0 2 3 4 5
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
G. Brown 11 2 1 4/5 3/4 0/0 0 6 0 0 0 0 2
F. Loyer 10 1 1 2/4 1/2 5/5 0 7 1 0 0 0 1
X. Tillman 6 8 2 2/3 1/1 1/3 2 22 3 3 0 1 7
K. Ahrens 4 3 2 1/3 1/2 1/2 1 15 1 0 0 1 2
C. George 2 1 0 1/2 0/0 0/0 1 2 0 0 0 0 1
B. Burke 1 1 0 0/0 0/0 1/2 1 2 0 0 0 1 0
M. Bingham Jr. 1 2 1 0/2 0/1 1/2 0 6 0 3 0 1 1
J. Hoiberg 0 0 0 0/1 0/0 0/0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0
B. Washington 0 2 0 0/4 0/2 0/0 0 2 0 0 0 0 2
T. Kithier 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 4 0 0 0 0 0
A. Henry 0 1 3 0/1 0/0 0/0 3 11 1 0 1 0 1
Total 104 53 31 38/75 11/28 17/26 20 200 7 12 14 14 39