College Hoops

Michigan State Defeats USC in NCAA Tournament First Round, 72-62

Michigan State Defeats USC in NCAA Tournament First Round, 72-62

COLUMBUS, Ohio โ€“ Michigan State put four players in double figures and used a key late second half run en route to a 72-62 victory over USC in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at Nationwide Arena on Friday afternoon.

Graduate forward Joey Hauser scored a game-high 17 points and had seven rebounds to lead the way, while sophomore guard Jaden Akins added 12 points and six rebounds, senior guard Tyson Walker scored 12 points with four assists and three rebounds and junior guard A.J. Hoggard added 11 points and a game-high five assists.


Michigan State improves to 20-12, while USC finishes the season at 22-11.



  • Tied at 34-all at the half, the teams traded baskets in the opening minutes, before MSU went on an 8-0 run and pushed ahead 49-40 after back-to-back dunks from freshman center Carson Cooper with 13:43 to play, forcing USC to call a timeout.
  • The Trojans would pull back to within four points, 53-49, on a jumper from Drew Peterson, but MSU responded with five-straight points and took a 58-49 lead on a breakaway layup with Hoggard.
  • That was part of a 13-2 run as the Spartans took a 66-51 lead on back-to-back 3-pointers from Hauser and Akins with 4:21 left to play as USC called its final timeout.
  • The Trojans cut the Spartan lead to single digits at 66-57 at the 3:28 mark after Kobe Johnson made consecutive 3-pointers, but the Spartans held off the USC rally and made six free throws in the final 1:06 to win, 72-62.
  • Michigan State jumped out to an 11-point lead just past the mid-point mark of the first half, using a 13-4 run over 4:24, taking a 24-13 lead on a dunk from junior forward Mady Sissoko with 9:08 to play.
  • Leading 26-17 after a jumper from freshman guard Tre Holloman with 7:37 left, the Trojans went on an 11-2 run over 3:59 and tied the game at 28-all on a free throw from Kijani Wright with 2:23 to play.
  • There were four more lead changes in the final two minutes, with Reese Dixon-Waters hitting a 3-pointer with 19 seconds left to give USC a 34-32 lead, but Hoggard hit a driving layup as the buzzer sounded, sending the game to the half tied at 34-all.

Up Next
The seventh-seeded Spartans (20-12) will play the winner of second-seeded Marquette and No. 15 seed Vermont on Sunday. ย ย 

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