Green leads Mo. 12 Michigan State over Oakland
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) – Draymond Green almost had a perfect game for No. 12 Michigan State. The numbers didn’t mean as much to the sophomore forward as a leadership meeting he was part of the night before.
After a long conversation with coach Tom Izzo and co-captain Raymar Morgan about slow starts, Green moved into the starting lineup and delivered a career-high 19 points and 12 rebounds in an 88-57 victory over Oakland, Mich. on Thursday night.
“Being asked to meet with Coach and Raymar means a lot to me,” Green said. “It shows what he thinks of me as a player and a leader.”
Green hit his first nine shots from the field and finished 9 of 11. He was 8 of 8 and had 16 points and seven rebounds as Michigan State (8-2) took a 44-21 halftime lead.
“I’ve known that kid for a long time, and I think he’d like to have my team in this gym a lot more,” Golden Grizzlies coach Greg Kampe said of Green. “Obviously, he was pretty good tonight. He made some tough shots and some easy shots.”
Kalin Lucas had 19 points and Delvon Roe added scored 11 for the Spartans, who blew the game open with a 25-3 run early in the first half and got plenty of playing time for most of their reserves.
“I don’t know what (Draymond) had to eat, but he had something,” Lucas said. “He was being a warrior, hitting his shots and getting ‘and-1s’. I hadn’t see that since high school.”
Keith Benson had 21 points and 11 rebounds for the Golden Grizzlies (4-5). He was 7 of 15 from the field and 7 of 7 at the free throw line.
Johnathon Jones, last season’s NCAA assist leader, had nine points, two assists and four turnovers for Oakland.
“Defensively, Korie Lucious, Kalin and Raymar did a great job of stopping penetration,” Izzo said. “Johnny Jones had been phenomenal.”
Michigan State shot 63.3 percent from the field and held the Golden Grizzlies to 26.7 percent in the first half. he lead grew to 35 points in the game’s final minute.
The Spartans started a smaller lineup with two point guards and got great energy with Lucious replacing Durrell Summers. They got every loose ball in the first 20 minutes and finished a 41-30 rebound advantage and 20-9 in assists.
“We played a lot better,” Izzo said. “I think we caught Oakland on one of our better nights. They didn’t play as well as they have on film. But part of that was our guard play.”
Oakland was 5 of 20 from 3-point range, including 1 of 8 in the second half when it couldn’t get closer than 20 points.
“We’re all embarrassed,” Kampe said. “Two years ago, we came in here and lost by four points and competed. Coach Izzo said, ‘We haven’t shot like that all year,’ and was almost apologetic.’ I said, ‘You probably weren’t open like that all year.”‘
On a three-game winning streak, Michigan State gets a nine-day break for semester exams, then plays IPFW before a Dec. 22 game at No. 2 Texas.