Home JMU pulls the upset of opening night, winning at #4 Michigan State, 79-76 in OT
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JMU pulls the upset of opening night, winning at #4 Michigan State, 79-76 in OT

Chris Graham
basketball
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If you had JMU upsetting fourth-ranked Michigan State on opening day of the 2023-2024 college hoops season, you’re not fooling anybody – you’re lying through your teeth.

Anyway, the Dukes led most of the way, then fought off the Spartans in OT to take home the 79-76 win.

Madison, the preseason favorite in the Sun Belt, led by as many as 13 in the first half, but Michigan State fought back to get the margin down to four, at 37-33, at the break.

Neither team led by more than four in a super-tight second half. TJ Bickerstaff hit a jumper with 30 seconds left to send the game to the extra period tied at 68-68.

With the Dukes up 75-74, Raekwon Horton, to that point scoreless on the night, connected from the wing from three with 10 seconds left for the dagger.

Terrence Edwards led JMU with 24 points.

Bickerstaff had 21 points and a game-high 14 rebounds.

Stat of the night: Michigan State was 1-of-20 from three-point range.

One make in 20 attempts.

Tyson Walker scored 35 points to lead Michigan State, but he needed 26 shots to get them.

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].