Michigan State basketball: 3 takeaways from ugly loss at Northwestern

Jan 7, 2024; Evanston, Illinois, USA; Northwestern Wildcats guard Brooks Barnhizer (13) defends
Jan 7, 2024; Evanston, Illinois, USA; Northwestern Wildcats guard Brooks Barnhizer (13) defends / David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
1 of 3

After a great-looking five-game stretch, Michigan State basketball came back down to earth on Sunday night, losing to Northwestern (no surprise there), 88-74.

The Spartans got off to a decent start, even taking a 22-18 lead in the first half, but then the Wildcats caught fire offensively and ended the half on a 28-9 run and maintained that for the rest of the game. Outside of the 5-10-minute nightmare stretch in the first half, Michigan State played sloppily, but still managed to respond to almost every Northwestern score. The game was even for 30-35 minutes.

But those stretches are all it takes to lose games and Michigan State found that out the hard way on Sunday night.

Let's dive into some takeaways from the loss.

3. Three-point shooting is continuing to improve

Before the game, I made a prediction that Michigan State would continue its hot streak from beyond the ark and make 9-of-17 shots from distance as it's been one of the best 3-point shooting teams in the country for the past month.

Well, Michigan State fell just short of that, going 9-for-19 and making 47 percent from deep.

At the beginning of the season, this kind of shooting performance seemed almost unfathomable as Michigan State couldn't buy a three, going 2-for-31 in the first two games. Now, the Spartans are shooting 40-50 percent almost every game and on the "off nights", they're shooting around 35 percent.

That's the one positive I took from this game and it's nice to see the likes of Jaden Akins, Aj Hoggard, and Tyson Walker hitting their shots from deep.

Now let's get Malik Hall to follow suit.