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Butler falls to Michigan State at Hinkle

The Bulldogs took their first loss of the season Wednesday night

Syndication: The Indianapolis Star Grace Hollars/IndyStar / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Butler Bulldogs fell to 3-1 on the season Wednesday night following a 73-52 home loss to the Michigan State Spartans.

Butler couldn’t seem to get it going offensively, falling behind early on against a team you don’t want to fall behind against in the Spartans. By the time they were six minutes into the game, Butler was facing a double-digit deficit.

The Bulldogs would chip away and ultimately cut the halftime lead to just eight, but the alarm bells had already been raised. Michigan State freshman Max Christie had nine points on 4-5 shooting in the first half, while Gabe Brown had eight. Butler amassed just 23 total points as a team over the first 20 minutes. To make things worse for the Bulldogs in the first half, Bryce Nze left the game with a shoulder injury just seven minutes in. His status going forward is currently unknown.

The second half was just as bad for Butler, as Tom Izzo’s bunch kept adding to their lead, concluding in the eventual 21 point Bulldog loss, the biggest home nonconference loss for Butler since a 69-53 loss to Louisville in November of 2011.

Michigan State saw Christie and Brown continue their strong play in the second half as the duo finished with 37 of the Spartans’ 73 total points.

Ty Groce finished with 15 points and eight rebounds for Butler, leading the Bulldogs in both of these categories.

Butler returns to action Monday when they face Houston in the Maui Invitational