In the return to the “Old Barn”, Michigan State basketball rolled over the Tuskegee Golden Tigers. The game, played at Jenison Fieldhouse, was a game of two halves. Always having superior talent, the Spartans performed poorly in the first half. The first half was another instance of the Spartans playing to their competition. In the second half it was a different story. The Spartans outscored Tuskegee by 29 points and ran away with the game winning, 92 to 56. Keith Appling played well scoring 25 points to lead the Spartans. Derrick Nix and Adreian Payne both recorded double doubles.
The Division II Tuskegee’s were clearly overmatched, but the game was more about the show and remembrance of racial equality. The Spartans were slated to play Loyola of Chicago, in East Lansing. It has been nearly 50 years since Mississippi State played
Loyola of Chicago in the 1963 NCAA Tournament, breaking their states prohibition of playing schools with integrated team. This historic game took place in East Lansing. Loyola ended up reuniting with Mississippi State and playing them in Chicago. So the Spartans, to commend racial progress, instead played Tuskegee. Tuskegee is the place where some of the first black aviators were trained. They were given courtside tickets and an ovation during the game.
There are two more games until Big Ten play starts. The Spartans can expect to go into the gauntlet with a 10 and 2 record. That’s not bad at all. Still, the Spartans have yet to play their best ball. If the Spartans want to get a good seed in the upcoming NCAA Tournament they must improve.