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


No. 18 Michigan State falls to No. 9 Duke in Champions Classic

Jack Moreland
MSU graduate guard Tyson Walker (2) leaves the court with teammates (from left) graduate forward Malik Hall, junior guard Jaden Akins and sophomore guard Tre Holloman after falling to Duke on Tuesday, November 14, 2023 at the United Center in Chicago.

CHICAGO – The No. 18 ranked Michigan State Spartans were back in action on Tuesday to face off against the No. 9 ranked Duke Blue Devils in the Champions Classic. With both teams coming into the matchup at 1-1, the Spartans fell to the Blue Devils 74-65 to drop to 1-2 on the season.

“We got to get better and get better quickly,” said Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo after the loss to Duke. “It’s not gonna get any easier.”

Izzo said that this matchup with the Blue Devils would be a dogfight and it looked that way early on, as both teams played very physical basketball and forced turnovers.

The Blue Devils held MSU to a 4:18 scoring drought and went on a 6-0 scoring run, before a Tyson Walker bucket would make it 15-14 with under six minutes to go in the first half. 

Duke also went on a 12-2 run to close out the half with a 31-20 lead heading into the halftime locker room. The physicality of Duke’s defense would hold the Spartans to shoot 29 percent from the field in the first half. 

The Spartans once again struggled shooting from three-point range, going 2-for-13 from beyond the arc. Senior forward Malik Hall led the Spartans in the first half with five points, while senior guard Tyson Walker would have four.

“I was really happy with our ball movement in the first half,” said Izzo. “I felt like our centers did an unbelieve job the first 15 minutes on those ball screens.” 

One of the deciding factors of the game was free throws. The Blue Devils shot 18 more than the Spartans, going 24-for-30, while MSU shot 7-for-12. 

MSU came out strong in the second half, going on an 11-4 run, trailing 35-31 in the first four minutes of the second half. Malik Hall scored 7 points during the run.

The Blue Devils responded, extending their lead back to 11 on a 6-0 run with freshman guard Caleb Foster leading the way. Duke’s success continued as they were able to score in the paint and draw fouls on MSU.

The back-and-forth battle and physicality and both ends of the court continued, with Duke leading MSU 60-54 with under four minutes to play.

Caleb Foster’s back-to-back three-pointers in the final stretches of the game extended Duke’s lead to 12, and help sealed the win for the Blue Devils.

Foster led the Blue Devils with 18 points in the win, while sophomore center Kyle Filipowski contributed with 15 points.

“It just says a lot about him, as a freshman being in this environment, this moment, I can’t say enough about his attitude,” said Duke head coach Jon Scheyer about Foster’s performance.

In Duke’s loss to Arizona last Friday, Foster played only 13 minutes and was scoreless. 

“I give Jon credit, he’d hardly played Foster in the last game, he didn’t do much, and he has a big game”, said Izzo. 

Tyson Walker recorded 22 points, a game-high in the loss. MSU’s three-point shooting improved in the second half, going 4-for-6 from beyond the arc in the second half.

The Spartans will return home to the Breslin Center on Friday to face off against Butler in the Gavitt Games. Tipoff is set for 6:30 PM.

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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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