2. Michigan State was able to pounce on the Illini turnovers
Kind of piggybacking off the previous slide, Illinois’ turnovers were ugly, and Michigan State took advantage of these bad turnovers.
Illinois didn’t have a particularly high turnover rate in the game. We had nine turnovers in the game, which is a little over two turnovers shy of our season average. So, I am not mad at the number of turnovers, albeit two of them were brutal.
The thing that was frustrating was the fact Michigan State capitalized on the Illini turnovers. They are a well-coached team that pounces when the opponent is at its weakest.
Michigan State took the nine Illinois turnovers and scored a total of 13 points. On the other hand, the Illini forced six turnovers against the Spartans, but we only managed to come away with three points off of those six turnovers.
That is a 10-point margin when it comes to points off turnovers. Illinois will find it very difficult to win in the Big Ten, especially on the road, when there is a double-digit scoring margin when it comes to points off turnovers.
Illinois’ biggest issue was when we would turn the ball over, Michigan State was quicker in transition. We wouldn’t get back in time, and this resulted in easy buckets for the Spartans or fouls on the Illini.
Michigan State played better than Illinois in a lot of areas on the court on Saturday, and points off turnovers were a killer.