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Eastern Michigan Eagles vs. Michigan State Spartans men's basketball final: Eagles can't get an offense going, lose 66-46

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Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Spartans' offense played really well

When you lose to a better team, you acknowledge that. That was the case in the Breslin Center: Michigan State was just the better team. For as efficient as EMU's defense has been this season, holding opponents to 55.9 points per game leading up to tonight's contest, the Spartans were able to get up to 66 tonight.

MSU only hit 37 percent of their 53 shot attempts, but making 19 of their 25 free throws played a big role in this one. Whatever wasn't being made as a field goal was made up for at the free throw line. That's just Basketball 101.

Also worth crediting: Spartans' ball movement. EMU does a good job of breaking up passing lanes and creating turnovers, but Izzo's offense was able to get 17 assists when EMU opponents have averaged 13 assists per game to this point.

The Spartans knew they had to shoot the three, especially Bryn Forbes

To beat the 2-3 zone, just make a bunch of 3's. Izzo's a smart guy, and his team came prepared to fire away. As a whole, MSU was 7-for-21 from long range, but Bryn Forbes and Travis Trice helped out in that department.

Forbes was the leading scorer of the game with 14 total points, and it was mostly out of his long-range shooting (but you knew that already). 3-for-6 from 3, and was 3-for-4 at the free throw line as well.

Senior guard Travis Trice started off hot making his first 3-pointers in the first half, with the third extending State's lead to 27-16. He cooled off to 3-for-7 from long range, 5-for-12 from the floor all day.

Those two had a combined 27 points at the end of the game, which, if my basic math serves me right, is nearly half of MSU's point total for the game.

Nobody showed up

I'm not talking about attendance here. I'm saying that nobody really showed up to take over for the Eagles. Mike Talley, Karrington Ward and Raven Lee all had 12 shot attempts, but Lee made the most with three. Those are the three best scorer's from last year's team are shooting under 20 percent, the rest of the team is going to follow suit.

The Eagles shot 22.6 percent from the floor and 18.2 from 3. The only one who shot over 50 percent was Brandon Nazione, but dominos never fell in the right direction after his scores to make a big enough impact on the scoring threat.

Jodan Price's performance last week was good enough to lift the Eagles over Michigan, but only making one 3-pointer on five attempts gives this offense nothing else to really work with.

This Eagles team really does live and die by the 3-pointer, and when they don't make the shots when they need to, they die hard.