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Tyson Walker powers No. 7 Michigan St. past No. 2 Marquette

Mar 19, 2023; Columbus, OH, USA; Michigan State Spartans guard Tyson Walker (2) shoots the ball over Marquette Golden Eagles forward Oso Ighodaro (13) in the second half at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Tyson Walker scored 17 of his game-high 23 points in the second half as No. 7 seed Michigan State eliminated No. 2 seed Marquette 69-60 in an East Region second-round game Sunday.

With Michigan State nursing a 56-55 lead, Walker launched a 10-0 run by beating the shot clock on a left-handed layup over Oso Ighodaro with 3:06 left. His 10-foot floating jumper in the lane with 1:16 left put Michigan State up seven. His two free throws with 48.2 seconds put the Spartans up 64-55 and his steal and dunk moments later all but sealed Michigan State’s first trip back to the Sweet 16 since advancing to the Final Four in 2019.

Joey Hauser had 14 points and 10 rebounds and A.J. Hoggard added 13 points for the Spartans (21-12), who advance to the East Region semifinal against third-seeded Kansas State on Thursday at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Olivier-Maxence Prosper had 16 points and Kam Jones added 14 for Marquette (29-7), the Big East regular-season and tournament champion.

Michigan State became the first Big Ten team this tournament to reach the Sweet 16, after Purdue, Northwestern, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland and Penn State were eliminated.

Hoggard played a big role in Michigan State’s 11-2 start to the game. His crossover drive to the basket gave the Spartans their first lead, 4-2. His step-back three put the Spartans up 9-2 as Michigan State scored 11 straight points to take command.

The Hoggard triple was a rarity for the Spartans, as they missed their next 13 attempts from beyond the arc, finishing just 2-for-16 from long distance.

Hauser’s two free throws with 12:24 remaining in the first half gave Michigan State its biggest lead, 18-5.

Michigan State led 27-15 on a thunderous dunk by Carson Cooper with 6:08 remaining in the first half that ignited the Spartan faithful.

But back-to-back 3s in the same corner from Marquette bigs Ben Gold and Prosper capped a 13-4 run to cut the margin to 31-28 with under a minute remaining. Jaden Akins helped stem the Marquette momentum and gave the Spartans a 33-28 halftime edge.

Marquette came out of halftime red-hot, led by consecutive 3-pointers from Prosper that gave Marquette its first lead, 34-33, since the game’s opening 15 seconds. Ighodaro and Tyler Kolek continued the shooting barrage to help put Marquette up 39-36.

The Spartans took the game over from there, scoring 12 of the next 18 points to flip it into a 52-45 lead with 6:33 left.

–Field Level Media

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