Michigan State Spartans men's basketball team runs away from Houston Baptist, 107-62
By LARRY LAGE
AP Sports Writer
EAST LANSING — Miles Bridges leaped for a lob and dunked over a 6-foot-10 center, made four 3-pointers and sprinted around screens to set up some shots in between.
Bridges matched his career high with 33 points, leading No. 2 Michigan State in a 107-62 win over Houston Baptist on Monday night.
“You can see his athleticism is finally back,” Spartans coach Tom Izzo said. “Offensively, Miles was as good as he’s been since he’s been here.”
The sophomore sprained his left ankle in the third game of the season, keeping him out of one game and slowing him in some additional games.
Bridges has looked like a preseason All-American in some games since the injury, but he often deferred to teammates when he had the ball. Against the Huskies, he was in attack mode.
“I was just trying to find the open spots and my teammates were finding me,” he said. “I was trying to get everything they gave me, but everything felt good.”
The 6-foot-7, 225-pound forward had 20 points in the first half, making 8 of 11 shots and going 3 of 6 beyond the arc. He finished 11 of 14 overall, 4 of 7 on 3-pointers and 7 of 7 at the line to match the 33-point total he had last season against Purdue.
“He’s so big and strong and skilled,” HBU coach Ron Cottrell said. “He knocked down shots even when we were there. He makes all the little plays and does the little things to get himself looks.”
Michigan State (11-1) has won 10 straight since losing to top-ranked Duke.
The Spartans set a school record with 16 blocked shots. Freshman Jaren Jackson had six blocks before fouling out in 18 minutes, and Nick Ward had four blocks to go with his 20 points and six rebounds. Joshua Langford added 14 points.
Houston Baptist (4-8) stayed relatively close until Michigan State’s 18-6 run late in the first half. Reserve Jalon Gates scored 17 points while Ian DuBose and Braxton Bonds each had 10 for the Huskies, who were held to 28 percent shooting.
“Shots weren’t going in for us, but Michigan State had a lot to do with that,” Cottrell said. “They’re so tenacious defensively. You’re not going to be able to finish much at the rim.”