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Michigan State uses elite ball movement to cruise past Nebraska

Jan 3, 2023; East Lansing, Michigan, USA;  Michigan State Spartans forward Joey Hauser (10) drives past Nebraska Cornhuskers forward Juwan Gary (4) in the first half at Jack Breslin Student Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Dale Young-USA TODAY Sports

Tyson Walker had 21 points and Michigan State cruised to a fifth straight victory by beating Nebraska 74-56 on Tuesday night in East Lansing, Mich.

Walker was 9 of 15 from the field and 3 of 6 from 3-point range with 16 of his points in the first half, one fewer than Nebraska had at halftime. Joey Hauser had 10 points and 10 rebounds, and freshman Jaxon Kohler added 10 points off the bench as the Spartans (10-4, 2-1 Big Ten) won their 10th straight over the Cornhuskers.

MSU assisted on 24 of 31 made field goals and dominated on the boards, holding a 46-29 edge despite being outscored 40-20 in the paint.

Nebraska (8-7, 1-3) followed up one of its best performances of the season — a 66-50 home win over Iowa — by arguably its worst. The Cornhuskers shot 41.8 percent overall and only made 8 of 29 shots in the first half, making just 2 of 16 3-pointers and 8 of 20 free throws for the game.

Derrick Walker led the Huskers with 15 points and nine rebounds.

MSU led 39-17 at the break, outscoring Nebraska 23-4 over the final 11 1/2 minutes of the first half. The Huskers scored the first six points of the second half, surpassing their first-half total in the first seven minutes after halftime, but couldn’t get closer than 16 during that span.

A three-point play by Wilhelm Breidenbach got Nebraska within 56-44 with 9:22 remaining, but it missed six of its next seven shots, while the Spartans went on a 12-1 run to put the game away.

A 15-2 run put Michigan State up 26-13 with 9:22 left in the first half, with Tyson Walker scoring the final seven points. Not long after, a 13-0 run upped the Spartans’ lead to 22 as Nebraska went the last 6:33 of the first half without scoring.

MSU remains home for a Saturday visit from in-state rival Michigan, while Nebraska continues a road swing with a Saturday trip to Minnesota.

–Field Level Media