Oakland (2-3) at (15) Michigan State (3-1)
Friday, November 23, 7:30 p.m. (et)
The Sports Network
By Frank Haynes, Senior College Basketball Editor
FACTS & STATS: Site: Breslin Center (14,797) -- East Lansing, Michigan.
Television: Big Ten Network. Home Record: Oakland 1-0, Michigan St. 2-0. Away
Record: Oakland 1-3, Michigan St. 0-0. Neutral Record: Oakland 0-0, Michigan
St. 1-1. Conference Record: Oakland 0-0, Michigan St. 0-0. Series Record:
Michigan State leads, 10-0.
GAME NOTES: Seeking their first win ever against the Michigan State Spartans,
the Oakland Golden Grizzlies invade East Lansing to challenge their in-state
rivals in a continuation of the 2012 Spartan Showcase.
Michigan State is 10-0 all-time versus Oakland, with seven of the games taking
place on the Spartans' home floor. The most recent meeting took place in
December of 2010, with MSU slipping past the Grizzlies in a 77-76 final at The
Palace at Auburn Hills.
Oakland is 2-3 this season, book-ending wins over Albion and Texas Southern
around three straight losses to Louisiana, Boise State and Pittsburgh. The
Golden Grizzlies play their basketball out of the Summit League, and after
this game will face two more foes from power conferences in Tennessee (SEC)
and West Virginia (Big 12) before opening league play at Western Illinois on
Michigan State opened the season with a 66-62 loss to Connecticut in Germany,
but came back to the States to knock off No. 7 Kansas (67-64) to restore any
lost confidence. The Spartans then dismantled Texas Southern (69-41) and
followed that up with a 74-70 triumph over Boise State. Coach Tom Izzo is 47-0
all-time at home during the month of November. MSU will play its first Big Ten
Conference game at Minnesota on New Year's Eve.
Offensive production hasn't been Oakland's problem this season, as the team is
averaging 77.6 ppg in hitting 49.4 percent of its field goal attempts, which
includes a 37.4 percent showing from three-point range. Where the Grizzlies
have struggled is in keeping the opposition from doing the same, as it does to
the tune of 76.2 ppg. Despite shooting just 37.3 percent from the floor,
Travis Bader leads the team in scoring with 19.0 ppg, and he is joined in
double figures by Duke Mondy (16.0 ppg), Corey Petros (15.6 ppg) and Drew
Valentine (11.8 ppg). Bader nailed seven three-pointers en route to 23 points
and Petros added 18 in Oakland's 71-69 win over Texas Southern last time out,
the team as a whole shooting 47.3 percent from the floor while allowing the
Tigers to connect on 48.1 percent of their total shots, including 12-of-31
Michigan State's strength is its play at the defensive end, as opponents are
shooting just 39.2 percent from the field in netting 60.2 ppg. The Spartans
own a favorable 7.8 rebounding margin, but they are -0.5 in turnovers. The
team boasts three double-digit scorers in Keith Appling (15.5 ppg, 4.5 apg),
Branden Dawson (12.5 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 4.0 apg) and Gary Harris (12.0 ppg).
Derrick Nix doesn't do much scoring (7.3 ppg), but performs well on the glass
(8.5 rpg). Appling scored 22 points and dished out seven assists to help the
Spartans get past Boise State earlier this week. Denzel Valentine tallied 12
points, while Dawson and Adreian Payne chipped in 10 points apiece for the
Spartans, who shot 57.8 percent from the field, despite missing 13 of their
19 three-point attempts. They turned the ball over 18 times and went just 16-
of-25 from the free throw line, which allowed the Broncos to hang around
despite hitting 42 percent of their total shots.
As well as Bader has played for Oakland thus far, he alone won't be able to
lead the Grizzlies past the Spartans on their own floor. Expect Appling and
company to do just enough to keep MSU perfect at home in the 11th month of the
year under its long-time head coach.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Michigan State 75, Oakland 66
11/23 11:12:28 ET
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