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CBE Showdown: No.11 MSU vs No.1 UCLA
GSN Senior Basketball Reporter
Posted Nov 20, 2007
It will be the biggest test for both teams on the early season. UCLA will be without their All-American guard Darren Collison and several other players. MSU's All-American Drew Neitzel is shooting over 50 percent from the field this season.
With their win over
last night in the semifinals of the CBE Classic, the No.10 Spartans now have a showdown with No.1
on Tuesday night for the CBE Classic championship (10pm ET ESPN2).
It will be the biggest test of the young season for both teams.
Originally this game would be a matchup between two stellar All-American guards: MSU’s
But Collison hasn't played since spraining his left knee in a preseason game Nov. 2, and the Bruins struggled without their floor leader in the first half on Monday night in their semifinal game against
, turning the ball over 12 times and hitting just 11 of 33 shots against Maryland's pressure.
But after a sloppy first half, the Bruins picked up their defense and scoring to roll past the Terrapins 71-59.
has started in Collison’s place and is averaging 11.5 points and 6.8 assists. However, the Bruins (4-0) have turned the ball over 66 times so far without their usual ballhandler.
The Spartans (3-0) had trouble of their own on Monday night against a relentless Missouri full-court press, turning the ball over 17 times, which is a major area of concern for coach
Neitzel played like an All-American though, scoring 21 points, including putting the team on his back when it counted most, hitting a big three-pointer and two free-throws late to seal the win.
Much like they did in the first half against Missouri, MSU will have to jump out early against the Bruins, who have the firepower to get ahead early and stay there.
scored 18 points and grabbed 16 rebounds, and
also scored 18 points, but UCLA shot just 37 percent, including 4-of-13 from 3-point range, but out-rebounded the Terrapins 44-29.
"To win shooting 37 percent says a lot about our defense," said Bruins coach
. “We were short-handed and got fatigued at the end.”
It will be a matchup of great rebounding teams on Tuesday night and although both feature deep benches, UCLA’s lineup is heavily depleted.
The Bruins dressed only eight players against Maryland because they also are without guard Michael Roll and forward
due to foot injuries.
The depleted lineup could be a problem against MSU, which is averaging 85.0 points per game after installing a new up-tempo offense. The Spartans have outscored their first three opponents by an average of 18 points.
is has been the best player for the Spartans so far this season, averaging 19 points per game and 11.3 rebounds.
It will be interesting in seeing the one day turnaround for both teams after both played intense semifinal games last night.
"I'm looking forward to this, to see how our team adjusts with one-day prep," said Izzo. "We'll work all night and see what we can do and then dissect it later about what we did or didn't do. This is great for us to play back-to-back."
No.11 MSU Holds Off Mizzou; Meets No.1 UCLA
Nov 19, 2007
MSU Stalls; UCLA Wins on Late Three-Pointer
Nov 20, 2007
OPINION: Get Drew Neitzel The Ball
Nov 18, 2007
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