EAST LANSING, Mich. – Malik Hall scored eight of his 15 points in a 1:34 stretch early in the second half, helping No. 22 Michigan State build a big lead it needed to hold off Louisville 73-64 Wednesday night in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.
The Spartans (6-2) overcame 19 turnovers by playing well in spurts and making 10 of 18 3-pointers.
The Cardinals (5-2) led late in the first half, trailed by just two points shortly after halftime and fell behind by 20 midway through the second half.
Louisville’s El Ellis scored 16 of his career-high 22 points in less than six minutes, cutting the deficit to eight points with 1:26 left, but the visitors couldn’t get closer.
Dre Davis scored 15 points and Malik Williams had 10 for the Cardinals.
Michigan State freshman Max Christie scored eight of his 11 points in the second half. Gabe Brown and Jaden Akins scored 10 each, and Marcus Bingham contributed nine points, 12 rebounds, three blocks and two steals.
Both teams were coming off a strong showing in the Bahamas.
Michigan State won two games, including over then-No. 22 Connecticut, before losing to No. 4 Baylor in the Battle 4 Atlantis final. Louisville beat Mississippi State and Maryland to win the Baha Mar Hoops Bahamas championship.
Louisville: Coach Chris Mack returned from a six-game suspension handed down by the school for failing to follow procedures in handling an extortion attempt by one of his assistants. It may take the fourth-year coach some time to get back into a groove to install an up-tempo offense with a new-look roster that includes eight newcomers.
Michigan State: Turnovers will hold Tom Izzo’s squad back if the problem doesn’t get fixed. The Spartans went into the game averaging 15.7 turnovers, ranking No. 304 out of 350 teams. They didn’t have a turnover in five-plus minutes to start the game, then had nine turnovers in the first half, two more in the opening minute of the second half.
The Spartans earned a spot in the AP Top25 for the first time after starting the season unraked and will likely stay in the poll next week.
Louisville: Plays at North Carolina State on Saturday.
Michigan State: Hosts Toledo on Saturday night.