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Community Advocacy Organization

Hoggard the Hero leads Michigan State Spartans in 67-58 victory over Penn State Nittany Lions

Photo courtesy of Spartan Wire

After traveling over 5000 miles in the first half of season, the Michigan State basketball team (6-4) took to the road again for their second conference contest against Penn State (6-3) on Wednesday night (Dec 7).

While both squads managed to score 35 in the first half, Michigan State outscored Penn 32-23 in the second half, pulling away for the 67-58 victory to snap their 2-game losing skid.

Tom Izzo talked about his team in the post-game, sideline interview, "We needed this win. We got this win. Showed a little character."

One of the sentiments Coach Izzo iterated prior to this outing was his need for consistency, leadership and performance, challenging his third-year guard AJ Hoggard.

And, he delivered for his Coach.

Scoring a career high of 23 points, adding 6 rebounds, 2 assists, a block and a steal, he led his team by example and became the hero of the game. His offensive and defensive out was sensational, as he was able to lock Jalen Pickett down to 13 points, 3 less than his seasom average.

Hoggard said, "I had a lot of growing up to do. I had to be better for our team. Coach lit a fire up underneath me."

Screenshot taken from Fox Sports of Hoggard with "ice in his veins"

One of the most impressive elements of gameplay on Wednesday evening was the Spartans swift defensive adjustments. While the three pointer had proven difficult to guard at the beginning of the game, State shut the Nittany Lion's efficiency down as they shot one for nine beyond the arc in the second half. For this Penn State team who lives by the three, that left them with very few alternatives offensively.

Hoggard said, "The staff did a good job preparing us for this game."

Adding to the board, senior forward, Joey Hauser, achieved a double-double with 12 points and 15 rebounds. Senior guard, Tyson Walker, also put up 14 points making this win a team effort.

As for the Spartans, they will have some relief after a wild schedule packed with 11 games in 28 days. They are looking forward to stringing together some intentional practices and rest periods to heal up from some of the nobs and kinks they have sustained as road warriors.

Hoggard said, "We get to spend more time. Build chemistry, get better and prepare for the second half of the season."

Michigan State will be back in action at home against Brown on Saturday December 10 at 4:30pm. Penn state will travel to Illinois on Saturday December 10 for a noon tip off.

Freeman's forecast was Michigan State +2 points. The game results were Michigan State +9


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