Michigan State-UConn Halftime Update

Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

The Spartans lead at the half after overcoming a tough UConn defense early.

Michigan State won the opening tip, but that was about all that went right in the first few minutes for the Spartans. UConn played extremely tight defense  and stifled the MSU offense, jumping out to an early 12-2 lead. Adreian Payne was able to get a couple of clean looks from behind the arc during that time, but was unable to convert. Tom Izzo's team was able to cut the lead after picking up their effort on defense and got settled in on offense.

State started to move the ball better and began to hit open looks from three, finally taking the lead on a Gary Harris triple with 3:33 to go in the half. The defense battled continued through the rest of the half, and in the last three minutes the only made basket came from Denzel Valentine with 23 seconds. The Spartans ended the half up 25-21, thanks to shooting 6-15 from deep.

In the second half, MSU needs to cut down on turnovers, they gave the ball away 8 times in the first. I think Izzo's team comes out ready to play and pulls away from the Huskies down the stretch. If UConn wants to stay in this game they need to find a way to breakdown the Spartans' defense and limit transition baskets the other way.

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