Michigan State Spartans men's basketball team rolls past Western Michigan without Cassius Winston
By MATT SCHOCH
EAST LANSING — Without his star point guard, Michigan State coach Tom Izzo went with some notable coaches’ sons Sunday night to run his offense.
And though they are a far cry from senior All-American Cassius Winston, Foster Loyer and Jack Hoiberg acquitted themselves quote nicely for the Spartans.
Loyer, the son of former Pistons coach John Loyer, and Hoiberg, the son of former Bulls and current Nebraska coach Fred Hoiberg, combined for 12 assists and one turnover to help No. 14 Michigan State run away from Western Michigan 95-62.
Loyer scored 16 points, taking over at point guard with Winston sidelined after bruising a bone in his left knee during practice Friday.
“Just going out there and playing with confidence,” Loyer said. “Just going out there and being who I am, the player I know I can be. Each time I step on the court, I have to be that person.”
But when the Spartans (10-3) fell behind 14-8 early, Izzo looked to Hoiberg, and the walk-on point guard helped spark a 25-0 run.
The sophomore scored four points and did not make a field goal, but Hoiberg’s impact was real in the first non-garbage minutes of his career.
“Obviously, with Cassius out, that’s a lot of minutes we have to fill,” Hoiberg said. “I’ve been waiting for the opportunity. This was it, and I had to step up a little bit.”
Xavier Tillman added 15 points and 11 rebounds, Aaron Henry also scored 15 points, and Kyle Ahrens had 12.
Loyer scored 11 points in the second half and was 4 for 4 on 3-pointers. He had three 3-pointers during a stretch in which the Spartans pushed the margin past 40 points, topping out at 89-44 with 4:44 remaining.
Michigan State had 28 assists on 32 field goals.
“That’s pretty special. They move the ball so good,” Western Michigan coach Steve Hawkins said. “Cassius is so good, but also is really, really good with the ball. They’re a different team when Cassius isn’t in.”