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NCAA Tournament: 3 takeaways from Michigan State’s first-round win over Davidson

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Michigan State guard AJ Hoggard (11) drives to the net with Davidson guard Foster Loyer (0) behind him during the NCAA split. Game 1 of the preliminary round of the Men’s Basketball Tournament at Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville, SC on Friday, March 18, 2022.

GREENVILLE — From the get-go, Michigan State senior Joey Hauser seemed right at home inside Bon Secours Wellness Stadium.

The senior tied a career high with 27 points for the Spartans in their 74-73 win over Davidson. His game and shooting guard Tyson Walker’s free throws with less than four seconds left gave Michigan State the victory.

Michigan State (23-12) will now face Duke (29-6) when Tom Izzo and Mike Krzyzewski meet for the 16th time on Sunday afternoon in Greenville.

“It was a great basketball game,” Izzo told reporters after the game. “We made our share of mistakes, and we made our share of big plays. I thought it was a bit of a roller coaster ride, but we beat that amazing team. Bob is an amazing coach. I’ve known that for many years, and I was blown away. “.

Are here Three Conclusions as the state of Michigan moved beyond Davidson:

Michigan State survives ups and downs in the second half

What was expected to be a close game (Michigan State was listed as a one-point favorite before kickoff in some places) turned out to be exactly that.

The two teams shot a combined 46 percent from the field in the first half. And that carried over into the second half, as both shot more than 45 percent on field goal attempts in the game. Davidson also made 10 3-pointers.

That was largely why the game lurched back and forth for the entire 40 minutes: It was tied 11 times and eight times the lead changed hands.

Davidson took a 52-49 lead with just under 7:30 remaining, but sophomore guard AJ Hoggard and seniors Hauser and Gabe Brown made it big down the stretch.

Hoggard’s layup with just over seven minutes left cut Davidson’s lead to one and then the Spartans used a 6-for-7 shooting run through the sub-four-minute media timeout to take a lead of 61-56 with 3:38 remaining.

The Spartans didn’t attempt a floor shot in the final three minutes, but held on to free throws to win the game.

Joey Hauser scores the best of the season

Hauser had a great first half for Michigan State. He scored 12 points before the halftime bell rang and helped the Spartans take a one-point lead at halftime. He scored his 12th on a 5-for-5 shooting performance, and the total was his most since he had 14 points against archrival Michigan on Jan. 29. His 27 points are 10 more than his high from the previous season.

A forward and transfer from Marquette, Hauser started the game aggressively: his 3-pointer from the sideline gave the Spartans a 5-0 lead with 17:40 remaining in the first half and set the tone. He hit two 3-pointers when the half rolled.

It also set the tone for a big game: The senior finished with 27 points on 9-of-12 shooting and a 4-of-6 performance from deep. He also had eight rebounds.

“It’s a new season,” Hauser told reporters. “That’s the beauty of this tournament. Anything can happen. I thought we had a really good plan offensively, so I felt very confident in that. Offensively, I’ve been struggling this season, just trying to let it fly and not worry about shots. lost.

“So tonight I really let that happen, and good things happened.”

Duke, Michigan State will meet on Sunday

Michigan State has been known for its long tournament runs with Izzo.

After losing to UCLA in the first four last season, the Spartans won their first game of the tournament for the first time since reaching the Final Four in 2019.

Now Michigan State will face No. 2 seed Duke on Sunday afternoon at Bon Secours Wellness Arena. The game turns into a highly anticipated matchup between a pair of blue bloods who last played on December 1, 2020, when MSU defeated Duke 75-69 at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, North Carolina.

“It’s been the class of the class,” Izzo said of Krzyzewski after the match. “I said he had to be his favorite coach, because he’s hit us like a drum.”

Michigan State, the No. 7 seed, played Duke in East Lansing during the 2019-20 season and fell 87-75 on Dec. 3, 2019. The last meeting before that, the Spartans defeated Duke in the Elite Eight during the NCAA 2019 Tournament. Izzo is 3-12 all-time as a head coach when he faces Krzyzewski.

Kickoff for Blue Devil’s matchup with MSU on Sunday is scheduled for 5:15 p.m.

Joe Dandron covers high school athletics and more for The Greenville News. Contact him at [email protected]

This article originally appeared on Greenville News: 3 takeaways from Michigan State’s first-round win over Davidson

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