Aloha! No. 4 Spartans fall to Hawaii
Honolulu, HI (Sports Network) – Julian Sensley and Matt Lojeski each scored 20
points to lead the Hawaii Warriors to an 84-62 win over fourth-ranked Michigan
State at the Stan Sheriff Center in the season opener for both teams.
Lojeski drained 7-of-11 shots from the floor, including 6-of-8 from three-
point range, for the Rainbow Warriors (1-0), who shot 45.6 percent from the
field and 41.7 percent from behind the arc.
Ahmet Gueye added 13 points and six rebounds, and Bobby Nash tallied 10 points
for Hawaii, which is a perfect 2-0 all-time against the Spartans and recorded
it biggest upset in eight years. The Warriors defeated then second-ranked
Kansas to win the 1997 Rainbow Classic.
Maurice Ager had 16 points, and Paul Davis had 12 points and 11 rebounds for
Michigan State (0-1), which dropped a season opener for the first time in 29
years. The Spartans, who advanced to the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament
last season, hit only 39.6 percent of their shots, going just 5-of-18
(27.8 percent) from three-point range.
The last time the Spartans dropped a season opener was to begin the 1976-77
campaign in Jud Heathcote’s first year as head coach. Current head coach Tom
Izzo was 10-0 in season openers.
Michigan State stopped to play Hawaii on its way to the Maui Invitational,
which begins on Monday. The Spartans, who are the first top 10 team to lose
this season, will play three games in as many days in Maui, starting with a
contest against Chaminade.
Hawaii head coach Riley Wallace recorded his 300th win at the school in
impressive fashion. The Warriors led for most of the contest and never trailed
in the second half.
The hosts held a 39-32 lead at halftime. leading by as many as 14 points in
the opening 20 minutes of action. Michigan State drew within 56-50 midway
through the second half, but Hawaii went on a 14-2 run that was capped by a
Lojeski three-pointer with just over six minutes remaining to give the Rainbow
Warriors a commanding 70-52 advantage.
Hawaii converted 17 Michigan State turnovers in 20 points and outscored the
Spartans 27-16 in second-chance points. The Rainbow Warriors’ bench also
outplayed the MSU reserves, outscoring their opponent 20-13.
Davis had to leave the game in the second half because of leg
cramps…Michigan State’s Shannon Brown also suffered from intense cramps and
needed to be removed by stretcher…MSU hit only nine field goals in the
second half compared to 18 for Hawaii.