East Lansing - Foster Loyer scored a career-high 16 points in his start for Michigan State and the No. 14 Spartans shook off a slow start without All-American Cassius Winston to rout Western Michigan 95-62 on Sunday night.
Loyer took over at point guard with Winston sidelined after bruising a bone in his left knee during practice Friday.
EAST LANSING, MI - DECEMBER 29: Foster Loyer #3 of the Michigan State Spartans drives past B. Artis White #3 of the Western Michigan Broncos in the first half at Breslin Center on December 29, 2019 in East Lansing, Michigan. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Get
But when the Spartans (10-3) fell behind 14-8, coach Tom Izzo looked to walk-on point guard Jack Hoiberg, and he helped spark a 25-0 run.
Hoiberg, the son of Nebraska coach and former NBA player and coach Fred Hoiberg, scored four points and had a career-high six assists.
Xavier Tillman added 15 points and 11 rebounds, Aaron Henry also had 15 points, and Kyle Ahrens had 12.
Loyer scored 11 points in the second half and was 4 for 4 on 3-pointers. He had three 3-pointers during a stretch where the Spartans pushed the margin past 40 points, topping out at 89-44 with 4:44 remaining.
Michael Flowers and B. Artis White led Western Michigan (7-6) with 12 points apiece.
Western Michigan: The Broncos need a bounce-back season in the Mid-American Conference for coach Steve Hawkins. They went 8-24 last season, the worst record in his first 16 seasons at Western Michigan.
Michigan State: Assuming Winston’s absence was more precautionary, the Spartans are rounding into more of a typical Izzo team, unlike early on when they were embarrassed 87-75 by Duke at the Breslin Center.
Freshman Rocket Watts returned to the court for Izzo after missing four games with a leg injury. He scored nine points in 12 minutes.
Western Michigan: It’s MAC play the rest of the way for the Broncos, who open conference play Saturday at home against Ohio.
Michigan State: The Spartans host Illinois on Thursday and No. 11 Michigan on Jan. 5.