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MSU men's basketball earns season sweep over Michigan for first time since 2019 with 73-63 victory

February 17, 2024
The Michigan State University men's basketball team takes on University of Michigan at the Crisler Center in Ann Arbor on Feb. 17, 2024. Michigan State is looking to secure their first win in Ann Arbor since 2019.
The Michigan State University men's basketball team takes on University of Michigan at the Crisler Center in Ann Arbor on Feb. 17, 2024. Michigan State is looking to secure their first win in Ann Arbor since 2019. —
Photo by Brendan Mullin | The State News

After an 80-72 victory at Penn State, the Michigan State men’s basketball team closed out its two-game road trip with a 73-63 win at Michigan for the team’s first win in Ann Arbor since 2019. 

The Crisler Center had its fair share of empty seats for a Saturday night rivalry matchup, but that did not mean there was a lack of Spartan fans making the trip to Ann Arbor. The MSU squad ran out onto the court under a decent amount of cheers, whereas there would normally be jeers on the road.

Senior center Mady Sissoko won the tip-off for the Spartans and graduate student forward Malik Hall made quick work with the ball to go up two in the opening seconds of the matchup

The first few minutes as a whole favored the home team as MSU made some sloppy mistakes while handling the ball, which led to turnovers and missed rebounding opportunities. Luckily for the Spartans, Michigan had turnovers even sloppier than them which the game within two points.

Halfway through the game, the Spartans took the lead by one point, and after a steal from Sissoko and a long pass to freshman forward Coen Carr, it looked like they might just go up two more. As Carr floated his way toward the basket, Michigan’s Will Tschetter grabbed Carr around his waist and was called for a Class A technical foul. Carr split his free throws at the line and MSU was able to hold onto its slowly growing lead. 

Michigan State took a nine-point lead with 4:21 left in the first half after a Carr steal and dunk that had the Spartan faithful chanting as loud as possible, but the Wolverines retaliated with a 7-0 run to bring the game back within two. 

The Wolverines were thriving outside the arc as the minutes wound down in the first half and they managed to pull ahead 37-35. 

With both senior guard A.J. Hoggard and sophomore guard Tre Holloman logging two fouls apiece, head coach Tom Izzo subbed in senior guard Davis Smith to close out the half. Although Smith is normally saved to close out dominant wins, he had two free throws with 0.4 seconds left on the clock to regain the lead heading into the locker room 39-37.

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The Michigan State University men's basketball team takes on University of Michigan at the Crisler Center in Ann Arbor on Feb. 17, 2024. Michigan State is looking to secure their first win in Ann Arbor since 2019.

The first half was full of defensive miscues and lacked action from outside the arc for the Spartans: Michigan State went 0-5 on three-point shots and 14-33 in total field goals. Hoggard only played three minutes in the first half due to his fouls and his presence was sorely missed on the floor.

The opening minutes of the second half were once again all Maize and Blue; Michigan State was struggling to grab boards and the slow pace of the game was hurting them.

It wasn’t until there was 13:04 left in the game that Michigan State sunk its first three of the game from graduate student guard Tyson Walker. After that point, the Spartans got back into a scoring groove and caught up to the Wolverines at 56 apiece. 

When Michigan State was running, the Crisler Center was loud. Based on sound alone, you would never guess that MSU was playing a road game.

The latter half of the second was a battle through and through. Neither team was able to hold a firm grasp on the lead until senior guard Jaden Akins nabbed a layup off an assist from Walker and steal from Hoggard to go up 71-63 to cap off an 8-0 run. 

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The Michigan State University men's basketball team takes on University of Michigan at the Crisler Center in Ann Arbor on Feb. 17, 2024. Michigan State is looking to secure their first win in Ann Arbor since 2019.

A scoring drought that lasted 7:01 for the Wolverines allowed the Spartans to hold off their rivals and take the season sweep over Michigan for the first time since 2019.

Michigan State will be back in action on Tuesday, Feb. 20 against Iowa at 7 p.m. at the Breslin Center. Streaming will be available on Peacock

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