Malik Hall expected to return against Buffalo


MSU forward Malik Hall (25) stands next to point guard A.J. Hoggard during the Spartans’ 71-69 win over Minnesota on Jan. 12, 2021/ Photo Credit: Sarah Smith/WDBM

PJ Pfeiffer, General Assignment Reporter

EAST LANSING – The Michigan State men’s basketball team returns to the hardwood as it hosts the University of Buffalo on the night before New Year’s Eve. The Spartans look to extend their win streak to four games against a strong Bulls team on Friday afternoon. 

Michigan State leads the all-time series against Buffalo 4-0 and this is the first time the two sides meet since 1938. 

Senior forward Malik Hall is expected to return to the court after missing the last six weeks due to a left foot stress fracture. Hall is one of head coach Tom Izzo’s leaders and his absence in the last two months has been difficult without the 6-foot-8 forward on both ends of the floor.

He will look to regain form before the Big Ten schedule starts again in 2023.

Before his injury, Hall averaged 12 points per game and 5.3 rebounds. 

The Buffalo Bulls are 6-6 on the season, with an 0-2 away record while the Spartans have an overall record of 8-4.

The Spartans defeated Penn State, Brown and Oakland in their past three games. Senior forward Joey Hauser led MSU against the Oakland Golden Grizzlies with 16 points and four rebounds.

The Bulls are coming off an unprecedented 129-62 win against SUNY Canton, where seven players recorded double digits in scoring. The leading scorer was freshman guard Devin Ceasar with 25 points.

Sophomore guard Curtis Jones has been a critical player to the Bulls’ success this season, as he leads the team in points per game (14.8), minutes played per game (29.1) and points overall (177), while also having the second highest number of steals (20). 

The game against the Bulls is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Dec. 30 at the Breslin Center. Going into the new year, the Spartans will host Nebraska on Jan. 3 and Michigan on Jan. 7.