Tyson Walker had 16 points in the first half on 7-10 from the field. That’s exactly what the Spartans needed in their 74-63 win over the Nebraska Cornhuskers on Tuesday night. In the first half, MSU looked as good as it had been since November.
“I thought that was the best first half of basketball we’ve played in a while,” said Tom Izzo.
The Spartans defense was extremely well and held Nebraska to just 17 points in that first half. It wasn’t quite the same story, as the Cornhuskers outscored the Spartans 39-35 in the second half. Nebraska was only 2-16 from beyond the arc for the entire game, and only could score in the paint.
The ball movement was really good for Michigan State and led to lots of really good looks. Coach Izzo touched on Joey Hauser and Jaden Akins missing a couple of good looks. Overall though, MSU made 48% of their 65 shots on the day with 24 assists to top it off. Walker finished with 21 points, Hauser had 10 points and 10 rebounds, and A.J. Hoggard had 9 assists with 5 points.
For the center position, Mady Sissoko was another bright spot with 5 points and 10 boards. Jaxson Koehler had a career high in points with 10 and made all five of his shots from the field. Koehler definitely still needs to get better at playing on defense, but was really good offensively. MSU was also able to out rebound Nebraska 46-29, and it was all around a pretty flawless performance for the green and white.
This is exactly the performance that Michigan State needed heading into the matchup with Michigan on Saturday.
© MATTHEW DAE SMITH/Lansing State Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK