Michigan State basketball fends off Villanova rally 73-71 W: Game replay

Never: 20:00 Friday.

Where: Breslin Center in East Lansing.

TV: FS1.

Radio: WJR-AM (760).

• Box score

MORE MSU HOOPS:Bold Michigan State basketball predictions for every player on the roster

REVEALED IN A BIG WIN:The win over Kentucky shows early development in key players — and Izzo

Michigan State center Mady Sissoko, left, celebrates with teammate Tyson Walker, right, after their overtime win over Kentucky in an NCAA college basketball game, Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2022, in Indianapolis.

Game Notes: The Spartans’ first games against tough competition — No. 2 Gonzaga last week and No. 4 Kentucky on Tuesday — have gone a long way toward dispelling concerns that Tom Izzo’s team would be too short to compete with top teams.

Much of that is thanks to stellar starts from forward Joey Hauser and center Mady Sissoko. Houser had a breakout game against the Wildcats in Indianapolis, scoring 23 points on 8-for-16 shooting, including four 3-pointers, while adding eight rebounds. Then again, we’ve seen Houser dominate in conference play before — he averaged 13.3 points, 10 rebounds and 2.7 assists in six games to open the 2020-21 season, then averaged just 8.9 points , 4.7 boards and 1.2 assists in 20 games of Big Ten play that season.

Sissoko, meanwhile, averaged 15 points and 8.5 rebounds in Week 5 against the Bulldogs and Wildcats. Not only did those games set a career high in scoring for the Mali-via-Utah junior, but they were his first double-digit scoring games in three seasons as a Spartan.

The Wildcats, meanwhile, are coming off a Final Four appearance last season in which they knocked off Big Ten powers Ohio State (Round of 32) and Michigan (Sweet 16). ‘Nova lost a lot of experience in the offseason, with seniors Collin Gillespie and Jermaine Samuels – two of the Wildcats’ top three scorers – departing and head coach Jay Wright suddenly retiring. Guard Justin Moore, who was No. 2 on the roster with 14.8 points per game, is back but unlikely to return before the start of Big East play after tearing his Achilles in Nova’s Elite Eight win over of Houston. That left plenty of playing time for Eric Dixon and Caleb Daniels, who are averaging 18.3 points and 16.7 points per game through the Wildcats’ first three games.

After hosting Villanova, the Spartans head west for a trio of games at the Phil Knight Invitational in Portland, Ore., including games against Alabama (Thursday) and either UConn or Oregon (Friday). The Wildcats, meanwhile, also head to Portland, where they’ll open against Iowa State on Thursday before facing either North Carolina or Portland on Friday. Although the Spartans and Wildcats have the same results — win/win, win/loss, loss/win or loss/loss — on Thursday and Friday, they will meet again on Sunday at one of three venues scheduled for eight- team tournament.

Live updates

A Twitter list from freepsports

Can’t see the updates? Refresh the page or check it out on Twitter.

This article originally appeared in the Detroit Free Press: Michigan State basketball beats Villanova, 73-71: Game replay

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *