No. 13 and Michigan State and the 16th ranked North Carolina both made winning start to the new college basketball season on Wednesday.
Foster Loyer led all scorers with a game-high and a career-high 20 points to lead Michigan State to an 83-67 win over Eastern Michigan. Loyer also made a career-best six 3-pointers on the day for the Spartans without fans at the Breslin Center.
North Carolina, in the meantime, collected a 79-60 victory over Charleston in its season opener.
In the battle against Michigan State, Eastern Michigan offered some resistance early and even led by two points midway through the first half.
However, the Spartans ended the first half on a 26-8 run to go into the halftime interval with a 43-27 lead.
Joey Hauser, a transfer from Marquette, missed a double-double by one rebound, ending the game with 15 points and nine rebounds in his debut for the Big Ten powerhouses.
Gabe Brown adding 12 points in the victory and senior guard Joshua Langford, returning to the court for the first time in almost two years because of injuries, scored 10 points.
Yeikson Montero had 16 and six rebounds on 7 of 11 shooting for Eastern Michigan, while Ty Groce added 14 points and Darion Spottsville ended with 12 points off the bench.
Miles Gibson finished with 11 points for the short-handed Eagles (0-1), who had only three players on the bench, and played just two reserves in the game.
School spokesman Greg Steiner would only say some student-athletes were unavailable for the game.
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected a number of teams’ preparations for the new season, but Eastern Michigan school spokesman Greg Steiner would not deny or confirmed if the Eagles were also affected. He only noted that some student-athletes were unavailable.
RECAP: North Carolina 79, College of Charleston 60
Also today, freshman Caleb Love scored 17 points to help North Carolina beat College of Charleston 79-60 in what was a season opener for both teams played in a largely empty arena.
Fellow rookie Day’Ron Sharpe opened his college career with a double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds for the Tar Heels (1-0), who used 17 straight second-half points to setup the victory.
Armando Bacot ended with 12 points, eight rebounds and three blocks and RJ Davis finished with 11 for North Carolina, which went into the break with a 39-32 advantage.
Brevin Galloway scored 15 points to lead College of Charleston, Payton Willis added 13 and Osinachi Smart grabbed 12 rebounds in the defeat for the Cougars (0-1).