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9:00 AM PT10:00 AM MT11:00 AM CT12:00 PM ET5:00 PM GMT1:00 PM 北京时间10:00 AM MST12:00 PM EST, Dec 8, 2018
Stephen C. O'Connell Center, Gainesville, Florida  Attendance: 10,423

No. 10 Michigan State rested for game against Florida

Tom Izzo felt his team needed a little time off. Following two Big Ten victories, No. 10 Michigan State has had more freedom to concentrate on practices and finals.

The Spartans will be rested when they play at Florida on Saturday afternoon. Their last game was Monday, a 90-68 blowout of No. 18 Iowa.

The Spartans then will have a week off after facing the Gators before returning to action against Green Bay on Dec. 16.

"It'll be important," the longtime coach told the Detroit Free Press. "We get by this game on Saturday, and then we get some time. ... We're going to find some time during the week to practice. And just to be able to practice and not have the pressure on us of playing another game I think is going to be good for this team."

The Spartans (7-2) played eight games in November prior to the win over the Hawkeyes. Their big guys took the spotlight on Monday.

Center Nick Ward made all 10 of his field-goal attempts while scoring 26 points. Forward Kenny Goins had a career night with 19 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists. Reserve Xavier Tillman contributed 14 points, eight rebounds and four blocks.

"All three of our bigs I thought were really, really good," Izzo said. "They played well together, they played well off each other."

Iowa's defensive scheme turned Goins into a playmaker.

"(It) was just one of those days where it worked out in their defensive plan that I got to pass that high-to-low and I think I had five assists on that alone to X and Nick," Goins said. "I was just in the right place at the right time and it just worked out in my favor."

The schedule becomes favorable the next few weeks as the Spartans play their next four games in East Lansing following Saturday's road game.

"It will be another tough game on the road against an opponent in a tough place to play," Izzo said of Florida. "We're sure going to be road tested, there's no question about that. It'd be nice to be home for a little longer than we've been home."

The Gators (5-3) relied on their defense to defeat West Virginia 66-56 in the Jimmy V Classic on Tuesday. Florida held the Mountaineers to 29.7 percent shooting to overcome a 33.3 percent shooting performance of its own.

"When we're not making shots, we just have to make up for it on the defensive end," senior guard KeVaughn Allen told the team's website. "We just have to keep playing and eventually the shots will fall."

Allen has averaged double digits in scoring throughout his four-year career at Florida, and his 19-point output Tuesday raised his season average to 10.0 points per game.

"So he gets 13 shots up to our next guy, who got six. I like that," Florida coach Mike White said to the team's website. "I tell him all the time -- I say it to the media and I say it in front of his teammates -- that when he's aggressive, all of our guys gain a little more confidence. He's such a talented scorer. When he settles in and plays with confidence, our entire team does (the same). This year and last year, as well."

Updated December 7, 2018

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