EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) Jaden Akins scored 14 points, Tyson Walker added 13 and Michigan State used a big first-half run to beat Georgia Southern 86-55 on Tuesday night.

Michigan State, which entered ranked No. 6 in the country in field-goal percentage defense (35.5%), held Georgia Southern to 34% shooting in the first half to build a 38-11 lead. The Eagles finished at 40%.

The Spartans had their early lead trimmed to 13-9 with 11:58 remaining in the first half before closing on a 25-2 run for a 27-point lead. Georgia Southern made just one of its last 14 field-goal attempts before halftime. The Eagles were just 5-of-27 shooting in the half, including 1 of 12 from 3-point range, with 11 turnovers. The Spartans also struggled from behind the arc, making 2 of 10.

A.J. Hoggard added 12 points, Malik Hall had 11 points and nine rebounds, and Mady Sissoko scored 10 for Michigan State (4-3), which was coming off a 74-68 loss to No. 3 Arizona. Tre Holloman had 10 assists to go with seven points and Jeremy Fears Jr. grabbed 10 rebounds.

Walker, second in the Big Ten in scoring and No. 14 in the country at 22 points per game, was just 6 of 14 from the field. Michigan State shot 52%, despite 5 of 18 from 3-point range.

Tyren Moore scored 15 points, and Deuce Dean and Eren Banks each had 12 for Georgia Southern (0-7).

Georgia Southern coach Charlie Henry is a native of Canton, Mich. and played college basketball at Madonna University


Michigan State’s new football coach Jonathan Smith addressed the crowed midway through the first half.

“I’m so excited about coming to a place and being the head coach at a place so passionate about football. So passionate.”


Georgia Southern has games against Jacksonville and North Florida before facing another Power Five opponent, No. 10 Tennessee, on Dec. 12.

The Spartans play six of their next seven games in the state of Michigan before the start of the new year, including five at the Breslin Center and one against Baylor at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit.


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