Michigan State tops Indiana in emotional homecoming

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Michigan State coach Tom Izzo watched the crowd with tears in his eyes moments before his team played its first home game since a mass shooting on the campus killed three students and hospitalized five others.

“It was one of those times when I just said, ‘I’m a lucky guy,'” Izzo recalled as his voice cracked with emotion. “I thought, ‘I hope we can help you. “”

The Spartans did.

Tyson Walker started slowly to score 23 points and lifted Michigan State to an 80-65 victory over No. 17 Indiana on Tuesday night, eight days after the shooting put lives at risk, put endangering other people and scaring off an entire community.

“It was really emotional,” Walker said. “Everyone was involved in one way or another because everyone is on campus. So it was really good to go out there and play well for everyone.”

The Spartans (17-10, 9-7 Big Ten) took the lead late in the first half after Walker started to make 3 points after a 0-for-4 start from the field, and were ahead in double digits for much of the second half.

“The Izzo teams are playing great. They’re playing hard,” Indiana coach Mike Woodson said. “They force you to play hard. If you don’t respect that, you’re going to lose.”

The Hoosiers (19-9, 10-7) relied heavily on Trayce Jackson-Davis, as usual, and he had 19 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists.

The Michigan State men’s basketball team had its previous home game against Minnesota postponed after the shootout and resumed play Saturday night in a loss to rival Michigan on the road. The Spartans women’s team returned to their home turf on Saturday in a loss to Maryland.

Victims, survivors and first responders of the shooting were acknowledged through pre-game remarks Tuesday night. There was also a moment of silence that was broken by the Michigan State band playing “MSU Shadows,” when Izzo looked left, right, up and down at the fans in the stands.

“I wish I could have run to that top row and thanked the people who were there,” Izzo said.

In the front row of the student section, white shirts were placed on eight seats for the eight students gunned down on campus. The funeral of the last of the three students killed was held earlier on Tuesday.

The Spartans, after the emotional pregame, got off to a slow start before turning things around with 3 points, defense and a rebound.

Michigan State’s AJ Hoggard had three turnovers early in the game, then didn’t have another turnover and finished with 22 points and five assists. Joey Hauser and Malik Hall each scored 10 points for the Spartans, who have won three of their last four games.

Jalen Hood-Schifino scored 16 points and Trey Galloway had 11 points for the Hoosiers.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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