EAST LANSING, Mich. — Miles Bridges played one of his best all-around games and had plenty of help from his teammates to turn a closely contested game into another lopsided victory.
Bridges had 15 points, seven assists, six rebounds and two blocks to help No. 1 Michigan State pull away and beat Maryland 91-61 on Thursday night.
“Miles had one of his more solid games,” Spartans coach Tom Izzo said. “He just made plays. Something I hadn’t seen him do myself. And, his defense was a lot better.”
The Spartans (15-1, 3-0 Big Ten) went on a 15-0 run late in the first half to take control and led 44-32 at halftime. They refused to be content with the 12-point lead, building 30-plus point cushions in the second half by diving for loose balls, playing tough defense and finishing with a season-high 16 3-pointers.
“I can count on one hand losses like that,” said Maryland coach Mark Turgeon, who has been leading college basketball teams since the late 1990s. “And, I’ve been doing this a long time.”
Michigan State has been regularly routing teams, entering the game leading college basketball with an average margin of victory of 26.3 points.
NBA teams were well represented at the game with at least a dozen in attendance and they saw a lot of prospects playing for Michigan State.
Freshman Jaren Jackson, projected to be picked ahead of Bridges this year, had 15 points, three blocks and two steals despite playing just 4 minutes in the first half because he had two fouls and finishing with 16 minutes on the court.
“It’s crazy what happens when you stay in the game,” Jackson said.
Nick Ward had 16 points and two blocks and Cassius Winston had 10 points and eight assists before fouling out for the Spartans.
The short-handed Terrapins (13-4, 2-2) had won seven straight. They recently lost Justin Jackson, a key player, and Ivan Bender, who started seven games, because of season-ending injuries.
Maryland’s Anthony Cowman scored 26 — one short of his career high — and Kevin Huerter had 16 points.
“They were keyed in on Kevin,” Turgeon said. “You lose Justin, everyone is going to key on Kevin more and it’s hard for him to get a clean look.”
Maryland: The Terrapins took away some encouraging signs about the way they played the top-ranked team in the country for about 15 minutes.
“There were times that we played good against a team that played out of their minds,” Turgeon said. “I’m going to take positives out of this.”
Michigan State: The Spartans’ depth was on full display, showing they will be tough to stop if a player or two doesn’t perform well or if they’re hit by foul trouble. Michigan State’s bench outscored Maryland’s reserves 27-8.
When Jackson was in foul trouble and Ward was tired, seldom-used reserves Kenny Goins and Xavier Tillman made shots outside and inside.
Goins, a redshirt junior, made two 3-pointers missing his only previous attempt beyond the arc. He finished with eight points and Tillman had six points, nearly doubling his season high.
“It wasn’t in our scouting report,” Turgeon said. “He shot it like he’s been working on it.”
STATS OF NOTE
The Spartans had 30 assists on 32 field goals.
“That kind of tells what kind of team I have — unselfish,” Izzo said.
Michigan State’s weakness is turnovers, but it had just seven.
“The guys are almost more fired up about that than the win,” Izzo said.
Michigan State entered the game averaging 14.3 turnovers and had a season-high 24 in a win over North Carolina
The Spartans made 57.1 percent of their shots from the field (32 of 56) and the 3-point line (16 of 28) with 10 players making a shot.
“When the No. 1 team in the country shoots like that, I don’t think a lot of teams are going to beat them,” Huerter said.
Michigan State, under Izzo and the late Jud Heathcote, won its 200th Big Ten game at the Breslin Center.
Maryland: Hosts Iowa on Sunday.
Michigan State: Plays at Ohio State on Sunday.