Following painful defeats to Notre Dame and Northwestern, Michigan State crept back after a initially slow first half to overcome Penn State in its first road conference game of the season.
It was a slow start offensively for both teams. Midway through the first half, the Spartans were 5-13 from the field and 0-2 from outside the arc.
Penn State quickly redeemed itself from its first five unsuccessful three-pointers, netting three consecutive triples within just over a minute, putting the Nittany Lions ahead of the green and white.
Off the glass, MSU matched Penn State with 17 total rebounds in the first half, four on offense and 13 on defense.
Freshman center Jaxon Kohler carried MSU offensively in the middle of the first half, notching six points and matching his career-high. It helped keep MSU in the game on the offensive end, especially with Sissoko in foul trouble.
Akins was another player making offensive strides, going 2-2 from deep to start out.
Hoggard took over towards the end of the half, converting on consecutive three-point plays in the final three minutes.