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Fans enjoy sense of comfort in Michigan State mens' basketball's first home game since shooting

February 22, 2023
<p>MSU Students fill the Izzone in an emotional return to the Breslin Center on Feb. 21, 2023.</p>

MSU Students fill the Izzone in an emotional return to the Breslin Center on Feb. 21, 2023.

The Michigan State men’s basketball team returned to action at the Breslin Center Tuesday night against the Indiana Hoosiers. This was their first contest played at home since the on-campus shooting that took place on Feb. 13, which killed three MSU students and injured five more. 

The overflow of emotions throughout the past week has affected the Spartans in multiple ways. Following the tragedy last week, MSU athletics were canceled through Feb. 15. Men's Basketball Head Coach Tom Izzo still conducted a practice last Wednesday in order to provide a way for his team to be together.

MSU traveled to Ann Arbor this past Saturday to face Michigan and ultimately lost a close contest to the Wolverines 84-72. 

With all recent events in mind, the Spartans had an opportunity to get their rhythm back in front of the home crowd against the Hoosiers. After Indiana jumped out to a 20-12 lead in the first half, MSU didn’t look back and controlled the rest of the game, winning 80-65. 

An entertaining basketball game may have been what some fans needed as a distraction from the tragic events that struck the East Lansing campus last week. 

Marketing freshman Alex Powers explained how vital it was to attend Tuesday’s game. 

“I felt like it was pretty important to me just to show my support for our first home game back,” Powers said.

Powers also noted how watching the Spartans play was the first time he was able to not think about the events that occurred during the tragedy, and how the victims were supported appropriately. 

“I thought it was a very good idea for everyone to like come together,” Powers said. “Seeing how many people that were all there was very nice for the victims or families and just everyone that was affected by the whole thing.”

Finance freshman Xavier Reedy also described how the contest allowed him to think about something more positive.

“Just sitting here watching the game, I wasn’t really thinking about it,” Reedy said.

Reedy appreciated the acknowledgment of the victims during the pregame, including a moment of silence for the three students who lost their lives.

“I think they were executed really well,” Reedy said. “Especially the moment of silence, like saying their names, that’s definitely a big part so everyone really remembers who they were and like what happened to them and stuff.”

Supporting the Spartans with other fans was very important for finance freshman Brendon Navetta.

“Really to be around everyone, I feel like it’s better for everyone to get support, feel good around their environment and everything,” Navetta said. “Obviously, both teams are supporting the whole campus after what happened.”

Navetta was also someone who enjoyed focusing on the basketball game to take their mind off of the tragedy last Monday. 

“I’ve just been super intrigued in the game,” Navetta said. “It has definitely taken my mind off of everything, just focusing on the game and having fun.”

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