By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information
EAST LANSING, Mich. – The Tennessee Tech men's basketball team suffered its second straight loss to a Top-15 nationally ranked opponent Sunday evening, falling on the road to No. 11 Michigan State, 101-33, in the Breslin Center in East Lansing, Mich.
"We didn't play very well, but we played hard," Tech head coach Steve Payne said. "Our travel this week has been brutal. On those young guys, it's even worse. I think some shots that we missed will end up hitting, and make games like that a little closer."
A combination of a tough shooting night from the Golden Eagles (0-5) and electric night on offense from the Spartans (3-1) provided all the difference that was needed on the night. Tech was held to just 29.4 percent shooting from the field, 10 percent from 3-point range and 22.2 percent at the charity stripe.
Michigan State hit on 55.2 percent of its attempts from the floor, including an eye-popping 70.4 percent in the second half. The Spartans started the second half 6-for-6 from 3-point range, finishing the stanza at 69.2 percent from deep.
The Golden Eagles were out-rebounded by the home team 47-27 and forced into 19 turnovers in the contest as well. Tech closed the MSU lead to single digits with 7:42 to play in the first half on a Corey Tillery 3-pointer, but the Spartan defense would hold Tech scoreless for the remainder of the period, finishing on a 19-0 run.
"There were some minutes in the first half where our defense improved," Payne said. "It looked okay. We came out in the second half and got a trap… did a good job coming out of the trap and contested a 17-foot shot, which is a shot we wanted to take and the kid just hit it and they kind of just got rolling. We're unable to make enough shots to slow that down and they're just really talented. They're very big, very physical and very experienced. The only choice we really have right now is to learn and get better and play."
The Golden Eagles will finally return home after a solid week on the road, playing host to ULM on Friday, Nov. 23 in a 6:00 p.m. CT tilt at the Eblen Center.
Photo courtesy of Michigan State Athletics Communications