Tyson Walker leads No. 4 Michigan State to bounce-back win over Southern Indiana

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By Samantha Rose

Tyson Walker scored 14 points and No. 4 Michigan State bounced back from a surprising loss in its season opener to beat Southern Indiana 74-51 on Thursday night.

Mady Sissoko had 11 points and 10 rebounds for the Spartans (1-1), who began the season with a loss to James Madison in overtime before getting a lopsided win over an overmatched team in its second season of Division I basketball.

Tyson Walker finishes through contact and gets the foul to extend Michigan State’s lead over Southern Indiana

Tyson Walker finishes through contact and gets the foul to extend Michigan State's lead over Southern Indiana

The Screaming Eagles (0-2) missed 17 of their first 18 shots and trailed 37-14 at halftime. They were much more competitive early in the second half, going on a 12-0 run to cut the deficit to 15 points.

Michigan State responded by making five of six shots to take a 22-point lead and coasted to a much-needed victory, less than a week before facing No. 2 Duke.


Jaden Akins scored 13 points, looking more like the playmaker coach Tom Izzo needs him to be after he was 2 of 10 for four points in the opener. Malik Hall added 12 points for the Spartans.

Southern Indiana’s Jordan Tillmon had 10 points and was the team’s only double-digit scorer.

Tom Izzo on Michigan State’s win over Southern Indiana | CBB on FOX

Tom Izzo on Michigan State's win over Southern Indiana | CBB on FOX

In the opener, Michigan State made only 1 of 20 3-pointers, a key factor in its stunning loss. The Spartans missed their first eight shots beyond the arc against the Screaming Eagles on Thursday and finished with only one make on 11 3-point attempts.

“We looked out of sync a little bit,” Michigan State coach Tom Izzo told Big Ten Network after the game. “We didn’t make our threes, but we did make our free throws.”

Next up for Michigan State is a big early-season showdown as the Spartans will play No. 2 Duke in Chicago on Tuesday night in the Champions Classic.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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