The Dakota Planet

Michigan State Plays in the Big Ten-ACC Challenge

Matt Biebuyck, Sports Writer

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The Michigan State men’s basketball team traveled to Louisville to play in the annual Big Ten-ACC challenge. The Spartans were coming off a successful Thanksgiving weekend defeating two very talented squads in UCLA and Texas, winning the Las Vegas Invitational. Louisville on the other hand, lost their previous two games against Tennessee and Marquette. A win over number nine ranked MSU would energize the Cardinals and first year coach Chris Mack before the heart of the season. The Cardinals also had never lost a game in their home area in the month of November so the Spartans had a hard task ahead of them.

With captain Matt McQuaid out with an injury Kyle Ahrens stepped into the starting role. Ahrens took advantage of this opportunity scoring creating easy layups and hitting three 3-pointers for a total of 15 points. Louisville guard Ryan McMahon surprisingly came off the bench and played spectacular scoring a team high 24 points. The Cardinals fueled by McMahon’s energy took a small lead and would not relinquish it. MSU’s veteran point guard Cassius Winston fouled out with four minutes remaining so inexperienced freshman Foster Loyer played important minutes down the stretch. The game was tied at 67 with nine seconds left in the game when Kenny Goins pulled down a defensive rebound. He was poked in the eye by a Louisville defender sending him to the free throw line for a chance to take the lead. Goins fulfilled his role all game grabbing 16 rebounds on zero field goal attempts and now was his chance to score the most important point of the game. His vision still blurry from getting fouled minutes earlier caused him to miss the shot. The game went to OT where Louisville would take the lead and hold on for the upset by a final score of 82-78. McMahon did an excellent job      denying any Spartan comeback in OT shooting perfect from the free throw line (7-7). Josh Langford came alive in the closing minutes but Michigan State suffered from his poor offensive production in the first half. The Spartans look to learn from this game and move forward heading into Big Ten play.

About the Writer
Matt Biebuyck, Sports Writer

Matt Biebuyck is a senior sports writer at Dakota High School who keeps up with many sports in our community. He is an avid fan of the Tigers, Pistons,...

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Michigan State Plays in the Big Ten-ACC Challenge