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Michigan State pulls off sound defeat of No. 6 Baylor


Tyson Walker scored a game-high 25 points Saturday and Michigan State opened up a 30-point lead in the first half en route to a stunning 88-64 rout of No. 6 Baylor in Detroit.

A.J. Hoggard added 14 points and Tre Holloman contributed 11 off the bench for the Spartans (5-5), which resembled the No. 4 ranked team they were prior to starting 4-5 and falling out of the Top 25. Michigan State sank 63.3 percent of its field goal attempts and earned a 29-20 advantage on the boards.

RayJ Dennis and Yves Missi each scored 11 points for the Bears (9-1), but it wasn’t nearly enough to even attain respectability. Baylor entered the day fourth in scoring average at more than 91 points per game but was overwhelmed at both ends of the court all day long.

The Bears’ only decent run came to start the second half as they outscored the Spartans 12-4 in the first 2:44, but they still trailed 49-29.

Michigan State quickly rattled off a 9-2 spurt for a 58-31 cushion with 13:15 left, and the game was effectively over.

The first half was all anyone needed to see of this game. Spartans coach Tom Izzo praised Baylor’s shot-making and the play of Dennis, its point guard, prior to the game. But his players hit the court looking to make a statement.

Each team’s first possession set the tone. The Bears committed a shot clock violation, and Walker drilled a 3-pointer. Michigan State never trailed but really took off after Walker drained a 3-pointer for a 12-7 edge.

Beginning with that shot, the Spartans went on a 27-4 run that lasted nearly 10 minutes. Walked capped the spurt with a transition layup off Holloman’s feed for a game-sealing 36-11 advantage with 4:40 left, forcing Baylor coach Scott Drew to use his second timeout of the half.

Coen Carr’s dunk made it 45-15 with 1:08 left, and Michigan State headed for the half with a 45-17 cushion.

–Field Level Media

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