An absolutely phenomenal game from start to finish, with Kansas State picking up the 98-93 victory. KSU continues their run thanks to the outstanding performance from Markquis Nowell who had 20 points, 19 assists, and 5 steals. MSU fans should still be proud of their team despite the loss.
A.J. Hoggard, Jaden Akins, Joey Hauser, and Tyson Walker all scored double-digits and combined for 13 three-pointers. Hoggard finished with 25 points and 6 assists on evening. Every time the Spartans needed a basket, Hoggard was there to drive to the rack or hit a clutch three.
Senior guard Tyson Walker balled out once again in his home state of New York with 16 points, five assists, and four threes. Walker delivered the New York style pizza yesterday to Tom Izzo and delivered in the clutch many times today. The bucket to send MSU to overtime was massive, along with all of his threes as well.
“I should have shot the ball. I’m going to have to live with it,” said Hauser.
Hauser more than likely just played his final game for the green and white, but his career shouldn’t be judged on that last possession. Hauser played another top tier game shooting the basketball, finishing with 18 points, six rebounds, and four three-pointers.
Malik Hall was solid down the stretch and much better than the past few games for the Spartans. Hall ended up with 13 points, eight boards, and went 5-8 from the field. Some Spartan fans will wonder what could have been if Hall had grabbed the deflected shot from Powell late in overtime. It’s only one play and the Spartans loss doesn’t depend on that, but instead it was the defense that killed MSU.
At the end of the day it was the lack of defense that hurt Michigan State the most in this game. Keyontae Johnson finished with 22 points, six rebounds, and a clutch reverse alley-oop at the end of the game. The Spartans also struggled to guard Ismael Massoud who averages about five points a game, but finished with 15. The back door pass was consistently open for the Wildcats to exploit via Nowell’s passing.
“I’ve never been prouder of a team,” said Tom Izzo.
Izzo touched on MSU not having their best performance, but they battled tonight and all season long. The 22-23 Michigan State men’s basketball team showed what it means to be Spartan Strong. To be down nine points in the second half and battle back. To force overtime in a situation that didn’t favor MSU. The Spartans didn’t have their best game, but they never gave up.
To look up in the stands and see Isaiah Thomas, Kirk Gibson, Mat Ishbia, Mateen Cleaves, Steve Smith, and so many other celebrities supporting the Spartans shows what Michigan State University represents. For Michigan State fans, the future is bright with the third best recruiting class in the nation coming in. MSU still awaits the decisions of Walker and Hall on whether they will return for another season.
Regardless of who is on the 23-24 MSU team next season, the 22-23 Spartan squad will hold a special place in MSU fans hearts forever. Most importantly, every person that helped contribute this year will be a Spartan Dawg for Life.