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Bearcats struggle shooting against Michigan State

EAST LANSING, Mich. - Undefeated and third-ranked Michigan State (9-0) showed its prowess in a 76-33 win over visiting Binghamton (2-5) in front of 14,797 Saturday afternoon at the Breslin Center. The game marked BU's first-ever appearance on ESPNU.

The Bearcats struggled with their shots all afternoon, falling behind 25-5 after hitting just 2-of-20 to start the game. Down 41-12 at half, BU put 21 points on the board in the second half - led by sophomore forward Justin McFadden, who tallied nine of his game-high 10 points after intermission.

But led by senior guard Denzel Valentine (13 pts, 12 rebs.), the Spartans were too strong.

"Your worst fears are realized when the the ball doesn't go in the basket," head coach Tommy Dempsey said. "I knew we would show up and play hard and we did a lot of the things we needed to do to try to be competitive ... but the one thing you can't control is whether the ball goes in the basket. We really struggled shooting. We were executing and playing hard ... we rebounded and turned it over only 10 times. The fact is, we played one of the best, if not the best team in the country and we didn't play well enough offensively to make it competitive. But our players fought hard and did what we asked in the scouting report. It wasn't our day but there are a lot of days ahead of us. This was a learning experience for a young team. Now we turn the page and get ready for Oakland."

Sophomore forward Willie Rodriguez chipped in six points and three steals and sophomore Dusan Perovic and freshman Thomas Bruce added five points and four rebounds apiece.

"Watching Binghamton on film they are a really well-coached team," Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo said aferward. "They run a lot of good stuff they just missed shots. I thought we did defend well today. I thought offensively they did a better job on us than we did on them."

The Bearcats now head east to Rochester in advance of Monday's tilt with Oakland University. That game will be shown on ESPN3 at 7 p.m.

(Courtesy: BU Athletics)