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Michigan State men's basketball climbs back to overcome Nebraska 80-67

February 28, 2023
Senior guard Tyson Walker (2) attempts a three pointer during a game against Purdue University at Breslin Center on Jan. 16, 2023. The Spartans fell to the Boilermakers with a score of 64-63.
Senior guard Tyson Walker (2) attempts a three pointer during a game against Purdue University at Breslin Center on Jan. 16, 2023. The Spartans fell to the Boilermakers with a score of 64-63. —
Photo by Audrey Richardson | The State News

In its last road game of the regular season, Michigan State managed to climb back after an ugly first half to fend off Nebraska 80-67.

Tuesday night's matchup totals 11-straight wins for the Spartans over the Cornhuskers.

As a part of Nebraska’s senior night pregame festivities, the arena lights dimmed to green as the crowd took a moment of silence to recognize the three MSU students killed and five injured in the mass shooting on Michigan State's campus on Feb. 13. The Cornhuskers were also dressed in Spartan strong warmup shirts that Nebraska head men's basketball coach Fred Hoiberg wore throughout the entire game.

The story started out like most others this season, with a slow offensive start. MSU went 4-20 from the field midway through the first half.

None of the Spartan starters could get anything going, including senior guard Tyson Walker. The star of Saturday’s showdown at Iowa who clinched a season and team-high 31 points, went 2-8 from the field in the first half. 

The Spartans, a team that put up a season high of 106 points over the weekend in Iowa City, scored a measly 10 points within the first 10 minutes of play, allowing Nebraska to dominate both ends of the floor.

While Tyson Walker struggled to find his offensive rhythm, Nebraska senior forward Derrick Walker performed the opposite and popped off the stat sheet with 13 total points.

As anticipated, junior guard Keisei Tominaga served as the biggest offensive threat to the Spartans. Tominaga led the Cornhuskers with 20 points.

Spartan fouls were evenly distributed in the first half, all seven assigned to a different player. 

After an all around out of sorts first half, especially on the offensive end, MSU ended the half trailing by a dozen.

Senior guard Malik Hall sank a three-pointer six minutes into the second half, making it a three point game. However, junior center Mady Sissoko gifted the Cornhuskers a turnover allowing a 7-point Nebraska run and taking away a chance for MSU at grasping the lead. 

With 8:21 left in the game, junior guard A.J. Hoggard sent the ball to Walker for three, allowing the Spartans to reclaim the lead and use the momentum to propel themselves towards the rest of the matchup.

Walker's basket was the start of a 11-0 run for the Spartans, interrupted by a driving layup from Tominaga. 

Graduate student forward Joey Hauser led the Spartans with 20 points and seven rebounds alongside Hoggard, who stepped up as a playmaker for MSU and earned a double-double with 10 points and 14 assists.

On the boards, MSU ultimately outrebounded its opponent 34-27.

Although it didn't look too hot for the Spartans while glancing at the halftime score, MSU managed to creep back to defeat the Cornhuskers 80-67 in its last road contest.

MSU will welcome Ohio State to the Breslin Center on Saturday afternoon for senior day. Tipoff is set for noon and the game will be televised on ESPN.

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