Monday, June 17, 2024

MSU men's basketball reignites in the second half to take down Rutgers 73-55

January 14, 2024
<p>Graduate student guard Tyson Walker (2) driving the ball towards the basket during a game against Rutgers at the Breslin Student Event Center on Jan. 14, 2024. Walker finished the first half with 10 points.</p>

Graduate student guard Tyson Walker (2) driving the ball towards the basket during a game against Rutgers at the Breslin Student Event Center on Jan. 14, 2024. Walker finished the first half with 10 points.

The Michigan State men’s basketball team reignited in the second half against Rutgers to win 73-55 after dropping a close road game to No. 10 Illinois on Thursday.

With students returning to campus for the first time since December, the Izzone was packed and ready to cheer on their Spartans despite the sub-zero temperatures raging outside

Senior center Mady Sissoko won the tip for the Spartans and the Green and White made quick work of it with a jumper from graduate student forward Malik Hall to go up 2-0. 

From the start, Michigan State was on top of the Scarlet Knights defensively, not allowing a single point until nearly four minutes in via a three from forward Aundre Hyatt

Rutgers started hot from deep, hitting two of its first three from beyond the arch to take the lead a little over six minutes into the game. However, sophomore guard Tre Holloman got it right back with a three of his own, ensuing a tight back-and-forth battle for the lead. 

After two brief appearances on the road, sophomore forward Jaxon Kohler made his way onto the home court for the first time this season after an injury kept him on the bench the first few months of the season

The Kohler lineup consisted of four underclassmen and senior guard A.J. Hoggard, but the young lineup did not last long after some key miscommunication turnovers let Rutgers pull ahead. With the veterans back on the floor, the matchup went right back to being the back-and-forth contest it was early on.

Although the scoring ramped up slightly with the return of the more experienced lineup on the floor, turnovers were still plaguing the team. MSU logged seven turnovers in the first half, most of which were entirely preventable. Thankfully for the Spartans, the Scarlet Knights also found themselves on a massive scoring drought

Neither team managed to get any baskets to fall for five minutes late in the first half, but graduate student guard Tyson Walker finally managed to break the drought with a layup with just over a minute left to play before halftime and a three-pointer as the seconds wound down.

As a whole, the first half was physical, but wholly uneventful from a scoring standpoint. MSU went into the locker room leading just 28-22 led by a ten-point performance from Walker

The start of the second half looked promising for MSU with Hall knocking down a three-pointer immediately and then getting a stop on the other end of the floor. Rutgers responded accordingly with a three of its own shortly after.

Four minutes into the half, the Scarlet Knights tied the game back up at 32 and then took the lead on their next possession once again, ensuing the constant exchanging of the lead.

With just twelve minutes left in the game, the Spartans found themselves up ten after back-to-back transition threes that made the home crowd go crazy. Michigan State thrives in transition, and once the Spartans got their offense going in transition, turning into better defenders and rebounders

That sequence reignited the Spartans, and they took off running, outsourcing the Scarlet Knights 21-2 in six minutes

It was a whistle-happy Sunday afternoon at the Breslin Center that saw both Hyatt from Rutgers and junior guard Jaden Akins foul out before the two-minute mark, but the Spartans were able to hold on tight to their lead and defeat Rutgers.

The highlight of the night for the Breslin crowd may have just been the first field goal for graduate student guard Steven Izzo on a contested shot that ended up in a three-point play.

Michigan State will be back in action at home Thursday at 6:30 p.m. against Minnesota on FS1

Support student media! Please consider donating to The State News and help fund the future of journalism.

Discussion

Share and discuss “MSU men's basketball reignites in the second half to take down Rutgers 73-55” on social media.