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Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

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No. 4 Michigan State defeats Hillsdale in first exhibition of 2023-24 season

MSU+freshman+forward+Coen+Carr+celebrates+after+throwing+down+a+dunk+on+a+fast+break+against+Hillsdale+on+Wednesday%2C+Oct.+25%2C+2023+at+the+Breslin+Center.
Jack Moreland
MSU freshman forward Coen Carr celebrates after throwing down a dunk on a fast break against Hillsdale on Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2023 at the Breslin Center.

EAST LANSING – Michigan State men’s basketball enters this season with high expectations and the goal of winning a National Championship and hanging yet another banner in the Breslin Center rafters. The No. 4-ranked Spartans opened up exhibition play with an 85-43 win over the Hillsdale Chargers with impactful performances all around.

The Spartans started out fast, jumping out to an 18-3 lead in the first five minutes of play with contributions from senior guard Tyson Walker, junior Jaden Akins, freshman Xavier Booker, and sophomore Tre Holloman who each knocked down a pair of threes. 

Sophomore center Carson Cooper led the Spartans in the first half with nine points and five rebounds, while Walker and Holloman also contributed with seven points. MSU shot 62.9 percent from the field in the first half, and went into halftime with a 47-20 lead.

MSU set the tone once again with a 17-4 run in the first eight minutes of the second half. Carson Cooper finished the game with a career-high 13 points, tied with Tyson Walker, who also led the Spartans with 13 points. 

MSU sophomore center Carson Cooper throws down a dunk against Hillsdale on Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2023 at the Breslin Center. (Jack Moreland)

The freshmen for the Spartans showed out as well. Coen Carr, known for his high-flying dunks that were on full display, scored 12 points. Xavier Booker scored six points in his debut, and Jeremy Fears recorded two points with eight assists.

Fan favorite Steven Izzo also checked in during the game’s final minutes, and knocked down two free throws to send the crowd at the Breslin Center into a frenzy.

Despite the dominating win, Carson Cooper says there are plenty of things that MSU needs to clean up before facing the Tennessee, especially rebounding the basketball.

“We didn’t really rebound the ball that well offensively or defensively, but I think if we manage those and help get the entire team involved on the rebounding process, that’s gonna help us and also being able to hit free throws,” said Cooper. “That’s a big focal point for me, that’s something that I’ve been struggling with and something I’m gonna keep getting better at.”

MSU head coach Tom Izzo directs the Spartans against Hillsdale on Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2023 at the Breslin Center. (Jack Moreland)

“The real thing that bothered me was the rebounding,” said Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo. “They had 17 offensive rebounds, they got 68 shots, we didn’t rebound very well.” 

The Spartans will return to action on Sunday, Oct. 29 at the Breslin Center for their second and final exhibition game against No. 9 Tennessee in the Maui Relief Charity game before opening up the regular season on Nov. 6 against James Madison.  

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About the Contributors
Caden Handwork
Caden is a sophomore journalist from Gross Pointe, Mich. He is the host of the Hedging the Bet podcast and a general assignment reporter for Impact 89FM.
Jack Moreland
Jack Moreland, Sports Photo Editor
Jack (he/him) is a Journalism major focusing in sports reporting and media photography. Growing up in nearby Okemos, Michigan, he has been a lifelong Spartan and is proud to sport the green and white. Jack is a big Baby Keem fan and is known to post on your block with your wishlist on you.

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