Jan 04, 2023

Nebraska falls at Michigan State

Posted Jan 04, 2023 1:56 PM

Michigan State used a strong first-half finish to pull away from Nebraska en route to a 74-56 victory Tuesday night at the Breslin Center in East Lansing.

The game was tied at 11 before Michigan State outscored Nebraska 28-6 over the final 12 minutes of the first half. The Spartans turned a three-point lead into a 13-point advantage with a 10-0 run. Michigan State then closed the half on a 13-0 run, stretching a nine-point lead into a 22-point halftime advantage.

Nebraska fought back in the second half and had the lead down to 12 with eight minutes to play, but Michigan State put the game away with a 10-0 run.

MSU notched its 10th victory of the season, improving to 10-4 overall and 2-1 in Big Ten play. Nebraska fell to 8-7 on the year and dropped to 1-3 in conference action.

Nebraska dominated the paint on the night, outscoring Michigan State 40-20 inside the lane. But the Spartans made six more 3-pointers than the Huskers, and Michigan State out-rebounded Nebraska by 17, leading to an 18-5 advantage in second-chance points.

Derrick Walker paced Nebraska with 15 points, while Sam Griesel and Wilhelm Breidenbach added 10 points apiece. Walker also grabbed a team-high nine rebounds, and he and Griesel each dished out three assists.

Tyson Walker scored a game-high 21 points to lead the Spartans.

The game was tight early, as neither team led by more than three over the opening six minutes. Nebraska grabbed its only lead two minutes into the contest before an 8-2 spurt gave Michigan State a five-point advantage. Breidenbach then scored five straight points to tie the game at 11, before the Spartans' big finish to the half.

Michigan State scored 10 straight points as part of a 15-2 that put the Spartans on top 26-13 with 9:22 left in the half. Following the run, Nebraska held Michigan State scoreless over the next four minutes, but the Huskers were only able to cut the lead to nine during that stretch. The Spartans then flipped the script, holding Nebraska scoreless over the final six minutes of the first half. MSU took advantage, ending the half on a 13-0 run to take a 39-17 lead into the locker room.

Michigan State shot 50 percent in the first half, while Nebraska made just 28 percent of its shots. Michigan State was 5-of-12 from the 3-point line in the opening 20 minutes while Nebraska was just 1-of-11.

Nebraska scored the first six points of the second half, trimming the lead to 16 less than three minutes into the period. Michigan State responded by pushing the lead back to 20 before Nebraska went on a run.

Five different Huskers scored during an 11-3 spurt that cut the lead to 12 at 56-44 with 9:22 remaining. But Nebraska made just one basket over the next five minutes. Michigan State made four field goals over that same stretch, pushing the lead to 23. Nebraska's bench scored the game's final five points on three free throws from Sam Hoiberg and a layup from Oleg Kojenets.

Nebraska outscored Michigan State 39-35 in the second half, scoring 26 points in the paint. The Huskers shot 58 percent in the second half, knocking down 15 of their 26 shots.

Nebraska is on the road for the second straight game on Saturday, when the Huskers travel to Minneapolis to take on the Minnesota Golden Gophers.