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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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Michigan State takes down No. 6 Baylor in Motor City Invitational

MSU+graduate+guard+Tyson+Walker+celebrates+after+hitting+a+three-pointer+against+Baylor+on+Saturday%2C+December+16%2C+2023+at+Little+Caesars+Arena.
Jack Moreland
MSU graduate guard Tyson Walker celebrates after hitting a three-pointer against Baylor on Saturday, December 16, 2023 at Little Caesar’s Arena.

DETROIT — After a loss on the road to Nebraska, the Michigan State Spartans looked to get back on track as they faced off against the No. 6 ranked Baylor Bears in the Motor City Invitational at Little Caesars Arena. The Spartans beat Baylor 88-64, dominating from start to finish to move to 5-5 on the season and snapping their two-game losing streak.

“I was really impressed. AJ and Tyson were really good, Mady did some great things defensively,” said MSU head coach Tom Izzo.

The Spartans started fast, jumping out to an early 12-7 lead with senior guard Tyson Walker leading the way with a quick eight points, scoring two three-pointers.

MSU’s success continued, as the Spartans went on a 10-0 run to make it 22-7. Tyson Walker scored six points during the run, with two more three-pointers.

MSU senior guard A.J. Hoggard (11) watches as graduate guard Tyson Walker throws down his alley-oop pass against Baylor on Saturday, December 16, 2023 at Little Caesars Arena. (Jack Moreland)

The Spartans’ defense shined, as they held Baylor to just two points after the 10-0 run and extended their lead to 28-9.

MSU held the Bears to 32 percent shooting from the field in the first half, while forcing 11 turnovers. 

The Spartans headed into the halftime locker room with a 45-17 lead over Baylor. Tyson Walker led the way for MSU in the first half, scoring 18 points on 6-of-10 shooting.

MSU scored 18 points off turnovers and was dominant in the paint, scoring 22 points in the first half. 

Slow starts have been a struggle for MSU this season. Getting out to a fast start was one of the keys to Saturday’s game.

“The past few games we got off to a slow start, we just wanted to start out fast, we wanted to punch them in the mouth,” said sophomore guard Tre Holloman. 

MSU sophomore guard Tre Holloman listens during a timeout against Baylor on Saturday, December 16, 2023 at Little Caesars Arena. (Jack Moreland)

In the second half, the Bears went on a 7-0 scoring run to cut the deficit to 21 points. The Spartans responded by extending their lead back to 25. 

The back-and-forth scoring continued as the Spartans led Baylor 66-40 halfway through the second half.

In the end, MSU’s dominance on both ends, throughout the game was the difference, as MSU earned a much-needed win over a top-10-ranked opponent. 

MSU senior guard A.J. Hoggard (11) and graduate guard Tyson Walker (2) celebrate after a Spartan basket against Baylor on Saturday, December 16, 2023 at Little Caesars Arena.

“We did something we haven’t been doing. We’ve got to get back to who we are,” said Izzo. 

Tyson Walker led the Spartans in scoring with 25 points on 9-for16 shooting from the field and went 4 for 4 from three-point range in the win.

MSU shot 63 percent from the field and 66 percent from three point range. The Spartans also scored 42 points in the paint.

On defense, MSU forced Baylor into 21 turnovers, while recording 29 points off of them. 

The Spartans will next return home to the Breslin Center on Monday to face off against Oakland. Tipoff is set for 7:00 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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