EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Aaron Henry had 14 points, eight rebounds, four blocks and three assists to help No. 13 Michigan State beat Notre Dame 80-70 on Saturday night.
The Spartans (2-0) closed the first half with a 17-0 run over seven-plus minutes and scored the first nine points of the second half to take a 22-point lead.
The Fighting Irish got off to a strong start in their opener and led 26-22 before going scoreless for nine-plus minutes, a drought that started in the first half and carried over to the second.
Michigan State had a lot to do with Notre Dame’s struggles offensively.
The tall, deep and athletic team had 10 blocked shots and six steals in the first half and finished with 12 blocks and nine steals.
Joey Hauser had 10 points and 12 rebounds, Rocket Watts had 13 points and six assists, and Marcus Bingham added seven points, seven rebounds and four blocked shots for the Spartans.
Notre Dame’s Prentiss Hubb had 23 points, Nate Laszewski had 12 points and nine rebounds, and Dane Goodwin added 12 points.
Notre Dame: The Irish led the country last season as they averaged 1.68 assists for every turnover and got off to a rough start with those statistics in the first half when the game was lost. Notre Dame had seven turnovers and six assists over the first 20 minutes.
Michigan State: Watts came off the bench and provided a spark coach Tom Izzo wants from the sophomore guard, who can score as well as create offensive opportunities for teammates. He is also a strong defender.
The Spartans will likely move up in the Top 25 after opening with two victories, including an 83-67 win over Eastern Michigan earlier in the week.
Notre Dame hosts Western Michigan on Wednesday night and coach Mike Brey announced on Twitter that he’s looking for an opponent on Dec. 4 or 5.
“And we will travel… (safely of course),” Brey posted. “Reach out and let’s hoop.”
Michigan State plays at No. 9 Duke on Tuesday night as part of the Champions Classic.