Michigan State braces for test from upstart Brown


Michigan State gets a much needed breather next week. The Spartans still have one piece of unfinished business before they can take a break, however.

The Spartans host Brown on Saturday in East Lansing, Mich. They only have two more games — against Oakland (Mich.) on Dec. 21 and Buffalo on Dec. 30 — the rest of the month.

Michigan State (6-4) has endured a demanding schedule against numerous high-profile opponents and it seemed to have caught up to the Spartans. They lost to Notre Dame and Northwestern before bouncing back with a 67-58 road win over Penn State on Wednesday.

“It’s a huge win,” forward Joey Hauser said. “We really needed this. On the road, too, so that was a tough win. At home we opened the Big Ten season with a loss, so it was one that we had to have. Going 0-2 is something that once you go 0-2, it’s hard to get back in the Big Ten. So, this was the biggest win we’ve had all year.”

Guard A.J. Hoggard led the way with a career-high 23 points. Hauser had 12 points and 15 rebounds.

“This is very big,” Hoggard said. “I feel like every game is a big game for us and we took that challenge on (Wednesday). We dropped one at home and we know what it is like in the Big Ten to drop games at home. So, we had to come back out here and respond with a good road win.”

The Bears (6-4) lost four of their first five games but head to the Midwest on a five-game winning streak. They pulled out a 59-58 win over Rhode Island on Wednesday.

Kino Lilly Jr. leads Brown at 15.9 points per game.

“It was an exciting win for our program,” head coach Mike Martin said. “I thought URI controlled play for most of the night, but we found a way to win. Hopefully that’s a sign of a good team, winning games on the road when you don’t play your best.”

–Field Level Media

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