Izzo sorry for tough early slate
Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said after Thursday’s loss that he did a terrible job putting together a schedule that has left little time to practice and try to develop his team.
The No. 24 Spartans lost to No. 20 Baylor 73-58 in the semifinal round of the Battle 4 Atlantis in Paradise Island, Bahamas. They had previously lost to Arizona in Honolulu and Kentucky in New York.
The Spartans travel to Duke next week in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
“I actually apologized to my team,” Izzo said. “And yet I’ve always played a tough schedule. ... You know what? You can take it as an excuse, you can take it as the truth, I don’t give a damn.
“I’m telling you what I did. This ain’t on them; it’s on me.”
Baylor dominated Michigan State inside with its size advantage, got out in transition and kept knocking down shots. Johnathan Motley scored 20 of his 26 points in the first half, and the Bears shot 55 percent after halftime
“We were able to get stops and get some transition buckets,” Bears coach Scott Drew said. “And when we’re able (to) get some easy ones, that loosens things up.”
The Bears did a lot of things well. They controlled the boards, had 24 assists on 30 baskets and scored 19 points off turnovers.
The Spartans weren’t able to produce much pushback. They went seven minutes between baskets spanning halftime and their thin front line was no match for 7-foot Jo Lual-Acuil, who finished with 14 points and eight rebounds, and the 6-10 Motley.
“We were moving the ball and really playing well through the first half, and we quit doing that,” Izzo said. “I just think we looked awfully tired. I can accept that that’s my fault, not theirs.” Owls spring upset: Quinton Rose scored 26 points, including two free throws with two seconds left, to lead Temple to an 89-86 win over No. 25 Florida State in the first game of the NIT Season Tip-Off in New York.
Shizz Alston Jr. added 22 points for the Owls (3-2). Dwayne Bacon led the Seminoles (5-1) with 22.
The Canucks announced Thursday that they signed defenseman Ben Hutton to a two-year, $5.6 million extension.
The 23-year-old is in his second season with the team and has two goals and two assists in 20 games.
Selected 147th overall at the 2012 draft, Hutton was one of the lone bright spots for the Canucks in his rookie season, seemingly coming out of nowhere to make the club out of training camp.
Hutton, who played at Maine, had one goal and added 24 assists in 75 games in 2015-16 to lead all Canucks defensemen in scoring.
Hutton has struggled at times early this season while looking for chemistry with partner Erik Gudbranson. However, he has played better of late for the Canucks, who have won four of their last seven following a nine-game losing streak.
“Ben is developing into one of our young, emerging core players and is an important part of our future,” Canucks GM Jim Benning said in a statement.