EAST LANSING, MI. -- The Michigan State men's basketball team returns to the Breslin Center on Saturday, Dec. 21, for a matchup with Eastern Michigan. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m. (ET).
Michigan State, winners of three-straight and five of its last six and No. 15 in the Associated Press poll and No. 18 in the USA Today Coaches poll, enters Saturday's game with an 8-3 overall record, while Eastern Michigan is 9-1.
Last Time Out
Senior guard Cassius Winston scored 21 points to lead three players in double figures as No. 15 Michigan State held on to beat Northwestern, 77-72, at Welsh-Ryan Arena on Wednesday night. Junior forward Xavier Tillman and sophomore forward Gabe Brown each finished with double-doubles. Tillman had 15 points and 10 rebounds, while Brown added 11 points and 10 rebounds for the first double-double of his career.
About the Spartans
Winston leads MSU, and ranks third in the Big Ten, in scoring, averaging 17.3 points per game … Winston is also fourth in the league in assists, averaging 6.0 per game, and second in free throw percentage, connecting on 87.0 percent of his shots (40-of-46)
Tillman is second on the team with 13.1 points per game (20th in the Big Ten) and tops the team, and is fourth in the Big Ten, with 10.1 rebounds per game, while adding 2.6 assists per game
Sophomore forward Aaron Henry, who scored a season-high 18 points against Virginia Tech, is third on the team with 10.0 points per game, while adding 3.3 rebounds and 2.8 assists
MSU has five other players averaging at least 5.0 points per game, led Brown, who is averaging 8.9 points and 4.6 rebounds
Freshman guard Rocket Watts adds 6.5 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists.
Freshman forward Malik Hall, who had nine points and eight rebounds against Duke, is one of three players for the Spartans averaging 5.4 points and 3.6 rebounds
Sophomore forward Marcus Bingham Jr., who has started the last six games and scored 13 points against Duke, joins Hall and sophomore forward Thomas Kithier, averaging 5.4 points and 3.6 rebounds per game.
Saturday's matchup between Michigan State and Eastern Michigan will be the 34th meeting between the schools.
MSU leads the all-time series with Eastern Michigan, 30-3, including a 20-1 advantage in games at home.
The Spartans have won the last eight meetings with the Eagles.
Eastern Michigan's last win in the series was an 84-80 overtime win in Ypsilanti on Dec. 17, 1987.
About Eastern Michigan
Eastern Michigan enters the contest with a 9-1 record and are coming off a 60-55 victory against Northeastern at home on Dec. 17.
The Eagles started the season 7-0 before falling at UC Irvine, 77-56.
Including the win over Northeastern, Eastern Michigan has won its last three games, with victories against Valparaiso (85-79) and at Detroit Mercy (55-51).
The Eagles travel to UNLV on Dec. 28 and host Concordia on Dec. 30 before opening Mid-American Conference play against Akron at home on Jan. 4.
Redshirt junior forward Ty Groce, who scored a career-high 23 points in a win over Valpo on Dec. 3, is averaging a team-best 12.6 points for the Eagles through 10 games.
Redshirt senior center Boubacar Toure leads the team with three double-doubles and is averaging 9.6 points and a team-high 8.2 rebounds, while junior guards Yeikson Montero and Noah Morgan average 10.8 points per game. Morgan, who tallied a career-high 21 points against Valpo on Dec. 3, leads the team with 2.1 assists and adds 3.2 rebounds.
The Eagles rank 10th in the nation in scoring defense (57.1 ppg) and are forcing 19.5 turnovers per game, which ranks eighth nationally.