EAST LANSING, Mich. - Drew Neitzel netted a career-high 26 points to lead Michigan State to a 66-46 victory over Drew Neitzel netted a career-high 26 points to lead Michigan State to a 66-46 victory over Vermont in men's basketball action on Tuesday night at the Breslin Center. Neitzel hit three three's in the opening 4:16 of the game as the Spartans jumped out to an 11-4 lead and never looked back. MSU improves to 5-1 on the year with the win, while Vermont falls to 2-3.
“Michigan State has great chemistry and rebounds extremely well,” said Vermont head coach Mike Lonergan. “We went into the game trying to stop Neitzel, limit his shots and we just didn't do a good job. We got off to a horrible start, and we struggled to score because of their defense. They kept us off the glass with their offensive boards and their size really hurt us.”
Freshman Joe Trapani (Madison, Conn.), the reigning America East Rookie of the Week, was the only Catamount in double figures as he posted a career-high 21 on 7-of-13 shooting from the floor. Vermont trailed 39-19 going into intermission by matched the Spartans in the second half as each team scored 27 points after the break.
Michigan State stormed out to an early 11-4 lead just 4:16 in as Neitzel hit three of his seven three’s in the stretch and Marquise Gray hit a short jumper. A pair of lay-ups by Trapani and senior Chris Holm (Henderson, Nev.) would make it 13-8 14:05 before halftime, but MSU responded with a 15-3 run over the next 5:17 to extend its lead to 17. MSU would lead by as many as 20 in the opening half on a lay-up by Goran Suton with 2:13 to go before the half.
Michigan State hit 5-of-10 three’s in the first half while Vermont went 0-for-8 from behind the arc. Neitzel scored 13 of his game-high 26 in the first stanza, while Trapani led the Cats with eight.
The second half opened similar to the first as the Spartans pushed their lead to a game-high 26 with a 7-1 run. Raymar Morgan hit two free throws and Neitzel drilled a jumper and a three to give Michigan State a 46-20 advantage.
The Spartans became the first team to out-rebound Vermont this season as they held a 43-35 edge on the boards. MSU shot 53.5 percent (8-15) from three for the game and forced Vermont to commit 20 turnovers.
Holm added seven points and a game-high nine rebounds for the Catamounts, just missing his fourth straight game with a double-digit rebounding total. Holm also blocked a career-high four shots for the Catamounts. MSU limited Vermont’s Mike Trimboli (Norwalk, Conn.) to only six points on 2-of-9 shooting from the floor, marking his lowest point total since he had five at Dartmouth on December 21 of last season.
Morgan was the only other Spartan in double figures as he added 10 points, while Suton chipped in with eight.
- UVM Media Relations -