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Malik Hall logs 1,000th career point in MSU men's basketball's victory over Minnesota

January 19, 2024
<p>MSU forward Malik Hall (25) attempts to score over University of Minnesota players at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on Thursday, Jan. 18, 2024. </p>

MSU forward Malik Hall (25) attempts to score over University of Minnesota players at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on Thursday, Jan. 18, 2024.

Photo by Jack Armstrong | The State News

Graduate student forward Malik Hall has been a staple on the Michigan State men’s basketball team since he came in as a freshman in 2019. Now 135 games into his career, the Spartan veteran has surpassed 1,000 points

In Michigan State's 76-66 victory over Minnesota, Hall was the game-changer early on. The graduate student had six of the Spartan's first 11 points and really got the ball rolling for the night. 

“I think he's the difference maker from them you know,” Minnesota head coach Ben Johnson said. “He's that kind of rugged toughness, physical player that can hurt you off the dribble, in the post. But he just has a presence. Some guys, when they’re out there, they just have a presence, and they give other guys confidence. They give us coaching staff confidence. I get the feel that when he's out there that everybody feels better. When he's subbed out, you probably don't feel as good.”

Malik Hall had a total of 16 points on the night just behind graduate student guard Tyson Walker’s 21—who hit 1,000 points earlier in the season

On top of the forward’s offensive proficiency, Hall also logged a double-double with 12 rebounds. He grabbed seven more rebounds than the closest Michigan State player and had two on some of the bigger Minnesota players.

“Me and coach had a meeting not too long—I want to say it was like two or three days ago,” Hall said. “That was one of the emphases for me was crashing the glass. I had to get more rebounds. And, that's something that I tried to come into the game and focus on.”

This season, Hall is averaging 11.06 points per game, but some of his best work so far this year has come during the past six games—minus an uncharacteristic zero-point performance in the loss to Northwestern

The recent stretch of high performances from Hall is headlined by a career-high tying 24-point game earlier in January against Penn State. Even when he isn’t performing at his best offensively, he still finds some avenue to contribute, but it is easily shows that the Spartans are a better team when he is consistently performing at that level.

“He did a lot of things,” Izzo said. “Because what you didn't see here—yeah, Dawson (Garcia) got 22 points, but he had to get most of them at the free-throw line. And I thought when I had Malik on him, Hall did a phenomenal job. So, you know, if we can keep Malik going like that, I know Jaden (Akins) and Tyson (Walker) will play better.”

Following the big game for Hall, his family and friends surprised him with t-shirts that had the number 1,000 on the front along with photos of him on the court

Hall said that he had no idea that his family was wearing those t-shirts until he was back in the locker room after the win

“I was sitting here after the game just thinking about like my whole journey here,” Hall said. “It's crazy, to say the least. Been through so much stuff, so I'm just proud to be part of some history here.”

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