Malik Hall made his long anticipated return to the Michigan State lineup on Friday. Hall had 11 points in just 12 minutes played for MSU. Hall then had to leave the game with what he described as “soreness” and didn’t need to return to the contest.
Michigan State took down Buffalo 89-68 at the Breslin Center and extended their winning streak to four games. Joey Hauser, Jaden Akins, and A.J. Hoggard all scored in the double digits for the Spartans in the win. MSU would end up shooting 51% from the field and 42% from beyond the arc. So despite a lackluster run in the first half that Buffalo was able to get within 5 the Spartans shot the ball very well last night. The Spartans only had 10 turnovers and made 21 of their 30 free throws as well.
The two-sport sophomore stud, Keon Coleman, was also on the bench for Michigan State despite not playing in the game for the green and white. Coleman had a bucket last year against Michigan and is a freak athlete for MSU so that could be something interesting to watch for to see if he’ll get some playing time with his season just starting.
Michigan State restarts their conference schedule on Tuesday when they take on the Nebraska Cornhuskers at home. If you aren’t a big college basketball fan you might think this will be an easy win for MSU. This isn’t the same Cornhusker teams from the past though. Nebraska has already taken down No. 7 Creighton on the road 63-53 and taken No. 4 Purdue to OT in a three point loss.
Then after that tough test MSU welcomes Michigan to the Breslin Center on Saturday Jan. 7th at 2:30 pm. Despite Michigan losing to CMU the other day I fully expect this game to be extremely competitive as well.
If Michigan State wants to win both of these games they need a couple of things. They need to be ready to take on Hunter Dickinson in the post and matchup on him defensively. Malik Hall needs to continue to keep getting healthier and to increase his minutes. Akins, Hauser, Walker, and Hoggard all need to continue to shooting the ball consistently and remain healthy as well. Conference play is never easy in the Big Ten, but MSU fans should be excited they get to start 2023 with two big home conference games coming up.