Hauser finished with a team-high 20 points, also notching a couple of rebounds and an assist. After a five point first half, Walker exploded for a 12 point second, as well as three rebounds, three assists, a steal and no turnovers.
FINAL: Hauser and Walker propel Michigan State past Maryland 63-58
Statistically, MSU and Maryland were relatively even in a handful of categories. However, the difference maker turned out to be the Spartans’ strong 45% shooting from three. Maryland shot just 14% from beyond the arch.
MSU’s first half offense came almost entirely from the starters, with the bench unit contributing just three points. Hauser led the starting five with 11 points, also tacking on a pair of rebounds and an assist.
Junior guard A.J. Hoggard had a quietly efficient first half. He didn’t pull the trigger much, taking just two shots from the field. However, Hoggard had just one turnover, six points, four assists, three rebounds and a steal.
On the other end of the court, the visitors had trouble breaking through the Spartan defense. The Terrapins shot just 31% from the field, including a paltry 15% showing from beyond the arch.
MSU was electric in the opening minutes of the half, dominating on both sides of the court. Michigan State paced up and down the court, forcing and finding gaps in Maryland’s defense. A 10-0 start forced the visitors to take a timeout, although it did little to slow the Spartans.
It took nearly four minutes for the Terrapins to get on the board, finally halting MSU’s red-hot 15-0 start. MSU’s offense finally cooled off after the first Maryland bucket, quieting down for a scoring drought that lasted over five minutes. In that stretch, Maryland slowly started chipping away at the lead, cutting it back down to a one-score game.
The remainder of the first was an evenly contested affair. Both offenses had trouble creating consistent runs, with back-to-back buckets becoming an irregularity.
Fouls were a major issue for Michigan State in the second half. With seven personal fouls just seven minutes in, key players for MSU took an early trip to the bench and Maryland tacked on extra points to a few of its field goals.
Five minutes into a choppy second, Walker got his third foul and immediately went to the bench. The change in play was palpable as the Terrapins came roaring back, locking up on defense and aggressively driving the net on offense.
To make matters worse, Hauser was whistled for a third foul just a couple minutes after Walker’s foul and made his way to the bench. Maryland notched a game-tying three-point shot less than a minute later. A 16-2 run for Maryland was only ended by a series of free throws from Hauser.
The pace evened up at around the halfway point of the second. After Maryland grinded its way to a four point lead at roughly the nine minute mark, sophomore guard Jaden Akins splashed a triple Walker erupted for a quick seven points, swinging the lead back to four points in favor of the Spartans.
After that excellent stretch, MSU never let go of the lead. Maryland came as close as two points with 30 seconds left, but Michigan State ultimately clung on for a five-point win.
The Spartans look to carry this momentum when they travel to Ohio State Sunday to take on the Buckeyes. Tipoff is set for 1 p.m.
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