After brother's death, emotional Cassius Winston leads Michigan State to blowout win

USA Today Sports 5 days ago

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Before the game, Tom Izzo was in tears. But once the game tipped off, the No. 1 Michigan State Spartans (1-1) brought some joy to a community in pain, cruising past Binghamton, 100-47.

The game, played in the wake of the Saturday death of senior point guard Cassius Winston’s younger brother Zachary, was anything but routine. Breslin Center held a pregame moment of silence in Zachary’s memory, during which both Cassius and Izzo were visibly emotional.

Playing with a heavy heart, Winston displayed the brilliance that made him the reigning Big Ten player of the year, finishing with a team-high 17 points and 11 assists, his 13th career double-double. The tepid Breslin Center crowd erupted when he made his first 3-point attempt one minute into the game. 

The physical mismatch was evident from the opening whistle, as the Spartans went on a 16-0 run in the opening moments to take a commanding 27-5 lead with 12:03 remaining in the first half. 

Sophomore forward Marcus Bingham Jr. scored nine of his 13 during this period, using his near 7-foot wingspan to grab three offensive rebounds over smaller Binghamton players. The Spartans dominated inside, outpacing Binghamton 54-16 in the paint.

Sam Sessoms led Binghamton (0-2) with 12 points on 5-for-17 shooting. 

Playing against much lower-level competition than in Tuesday’s Champions Classic loss to No. 2 Kentucky, the Spartans’ struggles from 3-point range continued. The first three baskets for MSU all came from deep, but after that initial surge, the team made just four of their next 19 from 3-point range. 

Winston had another special moment with 10:39 remaining in the first half, stripping Binghamton’s Yarden Willis on a double-team in the paint, chasing the ball down in the corner and firing an underhanded strike to freshman guard Rocket Watts, who laid the ball in.

Winston played 26 minutes, shooting 7-for-16 overall and 3-for-8 on 3s. Xavier Tillman added 17 points and seven rebounds, and Aaron Henry scored 16 points on 5-for-6 shooting.

Sophomore forward Thomas Kithier was briefly taken out of the game in the first half bleeding from the broken nose suffered Oct. 30. He was wearing a protective mask and was reinserted, finishing with 10 points on 5-for-5 shooting, three rebounds and three assists in 20 minutes. 

The win marks Izzo’s 67th November home win, as the Spartans are undefeated in the month of November during his tenure. 

With this brief respite, the Spartans head back to the tri-state area Thursday night for a trip to No. 13 Seton Hall. The Pirates are expected to be without AP preseason All-American guard Myles Powell, who suffered a “serious” ankle injury Saturday against Stony Brook.


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Forbes › Finance › 6 days ago
Zachary Winston, the younger brother of Michigan State All-America guard Cassius Winston, died Saturday when he was struck and killed by an Amtrak train in Albion, Michigan.
UPI › 5 days ago
Zachary Winston, the younger brother of Michigan State basketball star Cassius Winston, was struck and killed by an Amtrak train in Albion, Mich., over the weekend.
New York Post › Sports › 6 days ago
ALBION, Mich. — The brother of Michigan State basketball star Cassius Winston has died after being struck by an Amtrak train Saturday night. Scott Kipp, Albion’s Chief of Public Safety, confirmed Sunday that Zachary Winston died after being hit by...
New York Daily News › Sports › 6 days ago
Zachary Winston, a sophomore basketball player at Albion College and younger brother of Michigan State star Cassius Winston, died Saturday night after being hit by a train in Albion, Mich.
USA Today › Sports › 6 days ago
Zachary Winston, the brother of Michigan State basketball star Cassius Winston, died Saturday night. Police say he stepped in front of a train.
Chicago Tribune › Sports › 6 days ago
The brother of Michigan State basketball star Cassius Winston has died after being struck by an Amtrak train Saturday night.
Fox News › Sports › 4 days ago
Michigan State star Cassius Winston posted a touching message about his late brother on social media Monday following his game against Binghamton.
New York Post › Sports › 5 days ago
The Breslin Center was silent. Tom Izzo fought back tears. Cassius Winston rocked back and forth, preparing for Sunday night’s game, while processing the death of his younger brother, Zachary, less than 24 hours earlier. Zachary was killed in Albion...
The New York Times › Sports › 5 days ago
Playing a night after the death of his brother, Cassius Winston had 17 points and 11 assists to lift No. 1 Michigan State to an emotional 100-47 victory over Binghamton in the Spartans' home opener Sunday night.
USA Today › Sports › 5 days ago
Playing one night after the death of his brother, Cassius Winston scored 17 points with 11 assists to lift No. 1 Michigan State to an emotional 100-47 victory over Binghamton in the Spartans' home opener
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