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

Michigan State basketball bounces back with 74-51 win over Southern Indiana

Jack Moreland
MSU graduate guard Tyson Walker scores a reverse layup against USI on Thursday, November 9, 2023 at the Breslin Center.

EAST LANSING – After the stunning season-opening loss to James Madison on Nov. 6, No. 4 Michigan State basketball returned to action at the Breslin Center against the Southern Indiana Screaming Eagles. The Spartans bounced back with a 74-51 win on Thursday evening.

MSU started out strong, with very physical basketball on the defensive end and were able to hit free throws, going 7 of 9 from the line halfway through the first half, something the team struggled with against James Madison.

MSU’s defense would shine in the first half, as Southern Indiana went on a 9:40 minute scoring drought and held the Screaming Eagles to a 14 percent shooting percentage from the field in the first half.

The Spartans headed into the halftime locker room leading 37-14. Three-point shooting would continue to be a struggle for MSU, going 0 for 5 from beyond the arc in the first half.

The Screaming Eagles came out strong in the second half by forcing turnovers and going on a 12-0 scoring run to cut the Spartan lead to 15 early in the second half.

MSU would finally get it going in the second half, with freshman forward Xavier Booker and senior guard Tyson Walker leading the charge during a 6-0 scoring run to extend the lead back to 21.

Tyson Walker finally knocked down the first three of the game with under six minutes to go in the second half. MSU would finish shooting 1 for 11 from three-point range.

Despite the struggles from beyond the arch, MSU head coach Tom Izzo says he’s not concerned about the three-point shooting.

“I’m not because we did all summer, all fall, shot the ball really well. They just didn’t go in,” Izzo said.

Walker finished with a team-high 14 points. Three other Spartans scored in double figures, with junior guard Jaden Akins finishing with 13 points and senior forward Malik Hall adding 12. Mady Sissoko recorded a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.

MSU senior center Mady Sissoko attempts a free throw against USI on Thursday, November 9, 2023 at the Breslin Center. (Jack Moreland)

MSU finished the contest shooting over 48 percent from the field and improved from the free throw line, going 23 for 28.

“We shoot free throws all the time. Shooting that bad, that was an outlier for us. I feel like we got to keep getting to the line and making them,” Walker said.

Michigan State basketball will face off against No. 2 Duke in the Champions Classic on Tuesday, Nov. 14 at 7:00 p.m. at the United Center in Chicago.

“We’re looking forward to having that experience again, it’s gonna be a dogfight,” Sissoko said. “Duke is a very good team. We just go to work and stick with the game plan and what the coaching staff is gonna give to us and I think we’ll be solid.”

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About the Contributors
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, 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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