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

MSU basketball continues early-season struggles in 70-57 loss to Wisconsin

Wisconsin sophomore guard AJ Storr sinks a three-pointer against MSU on Tuesday, December 5, 2023 at the Breslin Center.

EAST LANSING – After seven days of rest, the Michigan State men’s basketball team opened up Big Ten conference play against the No. 23 Wisconsin. The Badgers shocked the Spartans in a 70-57 win at the Breslin Center.

MSU has fallen to 4-4 on the season, a loss that MSU head coach Tom Izzo took full responsibility for.

“We’re not tough enough right now and that’s all me, so blame me, not the players,” Izzo said.

The Badgers came out strong, as junior forward Stephen Crowl and junior guard Chucky Hepburn’s three-pointers gave the Badgers an early 9-2 lead.

After the slow start, the Spartans ended the scoring slump with a Jeremy Fears and-one layup and a three-pointer from Tre Holloman cut the Wisconsin lead to 13-8 with under 12 minutes to play in the first half.

The Badgers, however, fired right back, as a 7-0 run made it 20-8 with sophomore guard AJ Storr leading the way.

Whenever it seemed like the Spartans had momentum and were getting back into the game, the Badgers fired right back as they headed into halftime with a 34-23 lead, ending the half on a 6-0 run.

AJ Storr led the Badgers with 12 points shooting 2-for-2 from three-point range. Stephen Crowl also contributed with 11 first-half points shooting 3 for 3 from three-point range.

MSU struggled to guard the perimeter, allowing six Wisconsin three-pointers in the first half, and had seven first-half turnovers, as the Badgers scored 12 points off MSU turnovers.

“They were physical, they were tough. Give [Greg] Gard and his team a lot of credit, they played well, I thought they defended really well,” said Izzo.

In the second half, the Spartans cut the deficit to eight, with senior guard Tyson Walker and senior guard AJ Hoggard leading the way for MSU as the Badgers led 40-32 four minutes into the second half.

AJ Hoggard and Tyson Walker continued the offensive momentum, with a plethora of three-pointers to cut the deficit to 47-43.

The back-and-forth play continued as the Badgers led the Spartans 56-50 with under eight minutes to play. After both teams went scoreless for over a minute, AJ Storr’s three-point field goal increased the Badgers’ lead to 59-50 with 6:06 to play.

Down the stretch, MSU’s offensive struggles allowed the Badgers to capitalize on offense, with three-point shooting and second-chance points, leading to an impressive Big Ten victory.

Offensive rebounding continued to be an issue for MSU, giving up 11 offensive boards, along with giving up 19 second-chance points.

“That shouldn’t happen to us, and it’s my fault because I’m getting soft,” said Izzo

AJ Storr led the Badgers with 22 points, while Steven Crowl also contributed with 18 points.

Tyson Walker led the Spartans with 22 points, with 16 of those points coming in the second half on 9-of-20 shooting in the loss.

The Spartans will next travel on the road to Lincoln on Sunday, Dec. 10 to take on the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Tip-off is set for 6:30 p.m.

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About the Contributor
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.

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