SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Wednesday's 70-52 loss to Notre Dame for Michigan State was a "smash in the mouth," but one player of the Spartans was playing through a heavy heart during the defeat.
MSU senior guard Tyson Walker found out just a few hours before the game against the Irish that a close family member passed away.
In pregame warm ups, Walker was seen fighting back tears.
Walker did his best in South Bend. He shot 4-of-13 during the contest and scored 12 points. It was not Walker's best night in the green and white, but Spartans head coach Tom Izzo certainly understands given the difficult circumstances.
"I found out [the news] as I am going on the floor," Izzo said. "I pulled him aside as we are warming up. Tears were falling. Everyone handles things differently. Like I say, there are two people I like to stay away from: distractions and dirt bags. Those are my favorite two people I do not want apart of. Distractions are sometimes self-inflicted and sometimes you have no control over. This is one of those uncontrolled. I think you could tell he wasn't all there tonight. He's been my best player."
Walker and the Spartans will be back at home at the Breslin Center on Sunday in a Big 10 match up with Northwestern.
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