NCAAB: Michigan State continues stellar play, edges Villanova

Tyson Walker scored 22 points, A.J. Hoggard added 13 points and 10 assists and Joey Hauser contributed 13 points as Michigan State defeated Villanova 73-71 Friday in East Lansing, Mich.

Malik Hall contributed 12 for the Spartans (3-1), who followed their 86-77 double overtime victory over No. 4 Kentucky with an impressive showing against the Wildcats.

Eric Dixon led Villanova (2-2) with 24 points and nine rebounds while Brandon Slater scored 16 points. Caleb Daniels had 13 points.

The Wildcats struggled from the perimeter, going 8-of-29 from 3-point territory.

Villanova continued to play without key injured players Justin Moore (Achilles) and Cam Whitmore (right thumb).

When Dixon dropped in a 3-pointer, Villanova led 14-11 with 9:37 remaining in the first half.

But the Spartans proceeded on an 18-6 run to go ahead 29-20 with 3:40 left. Walker then drove to the basket and scored for an 11-point lead.

Dixon came back with a difficult basket in the low post.

Walker responded with a deep 3-pointer and Michigan State went ahead 34-22 with 58 seconds to go.

The Spartans led 34-24 at halftime thanks in large part to Hauser’s 10 points.

Dixon guided the Wildcats with 12 in the first half.

Chris Arcidiacono knocked down a 3-pointer and Dixon scored in the paint as Villanova closed within 42-36 with 14:22 remaining. But the Spartans scored the next five points, a trey by Pierre Brooks and a dunk by Jaden Akins, for an 11-point advantage.

Walker made another jumper to extend the Spartans’ lead to 59-43 with 9:02 left.

Villanova made it 61-51 when Daniels hit a layup with 6:43 remaining.

Slater stayed aggressive and converted a three-point play, Daniels added a 3-pointer and Villanova closed within 65-61 with 2:54 left.

Walker hit a trey and the Spartans regained a seven-point advantage.

Jordan Longino knocked down a trey with 49.0 seconds left to close within 72-71.

Walker hit 1-of-2 free throws with 16.9 seconds left for a 73-71 lead.

Dixon missed a potential game-winning 3-pointer in the final few seconds.

–Field Level Media

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