Izzo claims 700th victory in Michigan State’s 81-62 romp over Michigan

Izzo claims 700th victory in Michigan State’s 81-62 romp over Michigan

Head coach Tom Izzo of the Michigan State Spartans celebrates his 700th win after and 81-62 win over the Michigan Wolverines at Breslin Center on January 30, 2024 in East Lansing, Michigan. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)

By Associated Press

January 31, 2024

EAST LANSING—Jaden Akins sank seven 3-pointers and scored a career-high 23 points to help Michigan State coach Tom Izzo notch his 700th career victory with an 81-62 romp over Michigan on Tuesday night.

“Seven hundred wins at the same school means a lot,” Izzo said.

Many former players, including Steve Smith and Mateen Cleaves, celebrated on the court after the game with Izzo.

“That’s what means something to me,” said Izzo, who turned 69 on Tuesday.

Izzo, who took the reins at Michigan State in 1995 for his first and only head coaching job, has 288 losses. He becomes the 38th men’s coach to accomplish the feat, including former Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, who won a record 1,202 games.

“I don’t think he’s worried about me catching him,” Izzo joked.

Izzo was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2016.

“He’s an example of what a lot of coaches are striving to become,” Michigan coach Juwan Howard said. “He learned from one of the greatest in Jud Heathcote.”

Akins made 8 of 13 shots for the Spartans (13-8, 5-5 Big Ten Conference), who beat the Wolverines for a sixth straight time at home. A.J. Hoggard scored 15, leaving him with exactly 1,000 career points. He added seven assists. Tyson Walker finished with 12 points, four assists and three steals. Malik Hall scored 12 on 6-for-8 shooting.

Jaelin Llewellyn scored 18 to lead the Wolverines (7-14, 2-8) who have lost four in a row and nine of their last 10. Terrance Williams II scored 14.

Sophomore Tarris Reed Jr. hit the first 3-pointer of his career to give Michigan an 18-9 lead with 11:25 left in the first half. The Wolverines maintained a two-possession lead until Hoggard’s three-point play inside the final minute pulled Michigan State within 35-33 at halftime.

Hall’s layup tied the game at 39 and Walker followed with a layup to put the Spartans on top for the first time since they led 5-3. Akins’ 3-pointer capped a 7-0 run and Michigan State took its first two-possession lead with 16:32 left to play. Carson Cooper’s three-point play pushed the lead to 52-42 at the 14:10 mark and the Spartans cruised from there.

The Wolverines lead the all-time series 104-89, but the Spartans have won eight of the last 12. Izzo has a 33-21 record in the rivalry.

Izzo has led Michigan State to eight Final Fours, winning it all in 2000. The Spartans are 55-23 in the tournament under his leadership.

Michigan State will host Maryland on Saturday. Michigan returns home to play Rutgers on Saturday.

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