Michigan State Basketball: 3 takeaways from comeback win at Penn State

COLLEGE PARK, MARYLAND - FEBRUARY 29: Cassius Winston #5 of the Michigan State Spartans in action against the Maryland Terrapins at Xfinity Center on February 29, 2020 in College Park, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
COLLEGE PARK, MARYLAND - FEBRUARY 29: Cassius Winston #5 of the Michigan State Spartans in action against the Maryland Terrapins at Xfinity Center on February 29, 2020 in College Park, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /
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A huge road game stood between Michigan State basketball and a first-place tie with Maryland in the Big Ten. What’d we learn from the comeback win?

The first half had the feeling of “one of those games” for Michigan State. Penn State had made 10-of-14 shots from 3-point range and it had a 15-point lead over the Spartans.

And then Michigan State stormed back. The Spartans erased that huge Penn State lead within five minutes of the second half and then took a 10-point lead with over nine minutes to go. They didn’t look back, holding on to a lead for the remainder of the game to improve to 21-9 on the season and 13-6 in conference play.

Even more exciting is the fact that Maryland lost at Rutgers which brings the Spartans into a first-place tie with the Terrapins with one game to go in the season.

What’d we learn from Michigan State’s battle with Penn State?

3. Tale of two halves

In that lackluster first half, Michigan State couldn’t hit shots, was getting out-hustled and looked completely lost on both ends. The second half was a complete 180 flip.

The Spartans were hitting just about everything, playing incredible defense and had control of every aspect of the game. On top of that, the hustle was back as Michigan State was scoring on second-chance opportunities at a high clip.

Guys like Gabe Brown, Kyle Ahrens and even Marcus Bingham Jr. contributed good minutes off the bench while Xavier Tillman had the game of his career in the starting lineup.

Michigan State was down 19 in the first half and won by nearly double-digits. Now that’s impressive.