Originally found on Fox Sports:
Nov. 6, 2023 11:56 p.m. ET
Tyson Walker scored 35 points for Michigan State, but he had the ball poked away from behind in the closing seconds of the season opener.
The Spartans shot 36.1% overall. They missed 19 of 20 3-point shots and made just 23 of 37 free throws.
Walker made a layup to give Michigan State a four-point lead with 1:26 left in regulation, and it lost the advantage at both ends of the court.
Noah Freidel made two free throws after A.J. Hoggard fouled him on a 3-point shot. After Michigan State’s point guard missed a 3-point shot, T.J. Bickerstaff made a tying jumper with 30 seconds left and Walker couldn’t connect on a jumper just before the buzzer.
Bickerstaff scored 21 points in James Madison’s first win against a ranked team since a victory over No. 19 California on Dec. 29, 1992, in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Dukes improved to 2-32 against ranked teams.
James Madison, looking and playing with a lot of confidence, never backed down against a team expected to contend for a national championship.
The Spartans trailed 25-12 with six-plus minutes left in the first half and pulled within four points at halftime, getting fired up about trash-talking from the visitors.
Jaden Akins gave Michigan State its first lead with 15:16 remaining, making a shot after missing six attempts from the field.
Walker did his part, but freshman reserve Coen Carr, with 14 points, was his only teammate in double figures.
Bickerstaff is a Boston College transfer and nephew of Cleveland Cavaliers coach J.B. Bickerstaff.
T.J. Bickerstaff throws down a dunk after Terrence Edwards Jr.’s beautiful pass to extend JMU’s lead vs. Michigan State
James Madison entered the game as a huge betting underdog, as Michigan State was a 16.5-point favorite. The Dukes were +1150 on the moneyline, which means if you bet $10 on James Madison to win tonight, you would’ve pocketed a cool $125 total.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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