No. 12 Michigan State defeats Oregon in second game of Phil Knight Invitational


MSU forward Joey Hauser pumps his fist during the Spartans’ 83-67 win over Michigan on Jan. 29, 2022/ Photo Credit: Sarah Smith/WDBM

Luca Melloni, Sports Editor

PORTLAND, Ore. – Graduate senior forward Joey Hauser recorded an 18-point double-double to lead Michigan State to a 74-70 win over Oregon in the second game of the Phil Knight Invitational. 

On Thursday, the Spartans suffered a loss against No. 18 Alabama but were efficient in all aspects of the game to beat a physical Ducks side Friday night. 

“We’re ahead of where I thought we were going to be when the season started,” head coach Tom Izzo said. “I did not have a good feeling about last night. Alabama is really good. I just think we didn’t compete the way you have to compete [against Alabama].” 

In a game that came down to the wire, the Spartans kept their composure to improve their season record to 4-2. 

The Spartans shot 44.3% from the floor and made nine three-pointers in Friday night’s game. They only made four three-pointers against Alabama. 

Meanwhile, a depleted Ducks side is now 2-4 after Friday night’s loss. The Ducks were without junior guard Keeshawn Barthelemy after he injured his left foot against No. 3 Houston on Nov. 20. 

“I feel for Dana [Altman],” Izzo said. “I want to say I know what he’s going through, but he’s going through worse.”

Four scholarship players were on the court by the end of the game for Oregon.

The Ducks’ star center N’Faly Dante left the game against the Spartans in the first half with an apparent injury. Dante, who led UO in points, rebounds and field goal percentage, would not return. Senior forward Quincy Guerrier also fouled out with around seven minutes left to play. 

Guerrier was one point shy of recording 1,000 career points. 

Hauser, who left the Moda Center Thursday night with soreness in his ankle, became a driving force behind the Spartans’ win over the Ducks. He recorded 10 rebounds along with 18 points

“Joey [Hauser] has been one of my favorites because I’ve always believed in him,” Izzo said. “I got after him a bit [during the game] and I think a year ago he wouldn’t have responded. I think he played so well.”  

Senior point guard Tyson Walker was another player for MSU that was heavily praised after the game. Walker tied Hauser with 18 points but added eight assists to amplify a strong individual performance. 

Walker hit two free throws with 11 seconds left on the clock to solidify the 74-70 lead. 

“I was proud of Tyson for making big shots,” Izzo said. “We had three guys; Tyson, AJ [Hoggard] and Mady [Sissoko] who all made six straight free throws.” 

The Spartans went 11-12 from the free-throw line against the Ducks. 

Sophomore guard Pierre Brooks hit three three-pointers and finished the game with 15 points, a significant improvement from his five points the previous night against the Crimson Tide. 

Izzo said he was not impressed with Brooks’ performance against Alabama but was proud of his shot selection on Friday night. 

“I had a talk with coach and I just need to do a lot more,” Brooks said. “In the last game I felt like I was just out there, I wasn’t really making any effect on the game. I was just a body out there. Today, I proved myself to be a lot better.” 

Brooks played a career-high 35 minutes. 

Michigan State will close the Phil Knight Invitational on Sunday, Nov. 27 to face Portland at the Chiles Center. Tip-off is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. EST from the University of Portland.