Tyson Walker scored 21 points to lead No. 18 Michigan State to a 74-54 home win over Butler on Friday in a Gavitt Tipoff Games contest in East Lansing, Mich.
A.J. Hoggard scored 14 points and Malik Hall had 12 points, nine rebounds and three steals for the Spartans (2-2).
Jahmyl Telfort scored 15 points, and Michigan State transfer Pierre Brooks added 13 for Butler (3-1).
The Bulldogs entered averaging more than 88 points a game in their first three games, but shot just 28.8 percent from the floor and 28 percent (7 of 25) from 3-point range on Thursday.
The Spartans shot 47.5 percent overall and had its best performance of the season from 3-point range at 35 percent (7 of 20). Michigan State also held a 42-32 rebounding advantage.
Both teams did a good job of taking care of the basketball. Butler finished with 12 turnovers, while Michigan State had only 10.
Michigan State led 37-25 lead at halftime, but Butler managed to cut its deficit to 41-34 with 14:53 remaining.
The Spartans answered with a 10-3 run to take a 51-37 lead with 11:53 remaining after a 3-pointer by Tre Holloman.
They expanded their lead to 58-41 with 6:08 remaining after back-to-back baskets by Hall.
Michigan State didn’t allow Butler to make another serious run, going up 69-50 with 2:15 remaining before the teams started to empty their benches.
With the game tied at 14-14 with 12:45 remaining in the first half, Michigan State started to pull away, going on an 8-1 run to take a 22-15 lead with 6:02 left until halftime.
The Spartans then ended the first half on a 9-3 spurt to grab a 12-point lead at halftime.
–Field Level Media
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