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Five Takeaways: Michigan State gets road win at Butler

The Spartans were clearly the better team at Hinkle Fieldhouse tonight

Michigan State basketball has won two in a row after a 73-52 win at Butler on Wednesday in the Gavitt Tipoff Games.

The Spartans took the lead early and maintained control for the vast majority of the game. Michigan State was led by Gabe Brown, who had 19 points and six rebounds for the Spartans. The senior was 4-of-10 from beyond the three-point line and 6-of-13 from the floor.

Meanwhile, senior Joey Hauser had an rough night for Michigan State. He was 0-for-6 from the floor, 0-for-5 from three-point range and finished with 2 points, 6 rebounds and a steal.

The Spartans move to 2-1 on the year.

1. Max Christie's hot shooting

The true freshman had his best games as a Spartan on Wednesday against the Bulldogs. Christie looked the part of a 5-star prospect tonight, knocking down 6-of-9 shot attempts for a career-high 18 points. The freshman added 2 rebounds, an assist and a steal. This is the kind of scoring punch that Izzo and the Spartans expect of the stud freshman this year, and we got our first real glimpse of Christie's immense talent tonight. This was a confidence-boosting performance for the youngster.

2. Turnovers still an issue

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Turnovers have been a problem within this program for what seems like a long time, and once again Michigan State struggled with taking care of the basketball on Wednesday night. The Spartans had 20 giveaways against Butler, and are averaging 16.3 turnovers per game through the first three games. Michigan State also only had 12 assists as a team, which is disappointing as well. These are issues that need to get fixed moving forward.

3. Marcus Bingham Jr. stuffs the stat sheet

Marcus Bingham Jr. seems to have really bought in to his role in these last two games. The senior stuffed the stat sheet with 10 points, 6 rebounds, 2 steals and an incredible 6 blocked shots. Bingham Jr. is going to have to play a huge role for the Spartans this season if the season is going to be a success, and he's looked the part in each of Michigan State's last two games.

4. Izzo needs more out of his point guards

AJ Hoggard had a real nice game against Kansas in the season-opener, and Tyson Walker looked better in Game 2 against Western Michigan. But on Wednesday against Butler, neither guy made much of an impact. Walker, the starter, finished with just 5 points on 1-of-3 shooting. Walker did have 5 assists, 2 steals and a block tonight, which Izzo will like to see, but he needs to be more of a scorer. Hoggard, meanwhile, took only three shots in the game and was held scoreless. The sophomore had 4 rebounds and 4 assists. We're still early in the year, and Izzo has said Michigan State will be better at point guard this season, but we haven't seen much consistency at that position yet from these two guys.

5. Spartans defend, rebound well again

The Spartans had an excellent rebounding and defensive effort in their last outing against Western Michigan, and that continued in tonight's game as well. Michigan State limited Butler to just 28.6 percent from the floor (16-of-56), and 30 percent from the three-point line (9-of-30). The Spartans have also out-rebounded all three opponents they have faced this season, after a 41-25 edge on the boards against the Bulldogs tonight. Izzo has to like the effort he's getting on defense and on the glass so far this season.