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>>caption: LUCAS (#1) LED MSU
PAST THE AGGIES<<
@ SPOKANE, WA:
Michigan State survived a 2nd-H
slump to edge New Mexico State 70-67
in NCAA first round tournament play
MSU needed a career-best 25-P from Kalin Lucas and a late-game offensive
awakening by Raymar Morgan to overcome a poor-28-P/2nd-H by the Spartans.
Lucas appeared to take it personally that New-Mex State GD Jahmar Young
claimed during the week that he didn't know who Lucas was. The two trash
talked throughout the game.
Durrell Summers scored 10 straight State points when MSU went up 12-5
early and a Lucas steal and dunk gave the Spartans their biggest lead of 16-P
at 35-19 with 5:14 left in the opening half. Michigan State held a 13-P bulge at
New Mexico State began the 2nd-H on an 8-0 run and soon drew within
44-42 on a triple by Jonathan Gibson, who'd led the Aggies with 11-P in the
opening half. Twice MSU went back up by 5-P, but a Gordo Castillo 3-pointer
with 11:41 remaining had the Aggies ahead 53-52 for the first time since
their 2-0 opening hoop.
The down the stretch tug-of-war saw four more lead changes and five
ties. When Lucas made the first of two free throws with 3:17 remaining
MSU went ahead to stay 64-63. Morgan scored five of the final six Spartan
points with Lucas getting the other. Morgan's dunk made it 67-63 with
1:54 on the clock and his pair of foul shots with 18.6-sec showing produced
the 70-67 final.
On his last two charity tosses, Morgan made the first but missed the
second. However, a controversial but correct lane violation call against
New Mexico State's Troy Gillenwater gave Morgan a second chance at
the second shot and Morgan made it.
The Aggies had two off-target 3-point attempts in the closing seconds,
MSU's Draymond Green knocked the ball out of bounds with 0.3-sec remaining
(it actually should have nbeen 0.6-sec) and Green intercepted the in-bounds
pass to clinch the win.
Summers finished with 14-P and Morgan 11-P. Green (3-P) grabbed a game-
His one game suspension lifted by coach Tom Izzo, Chris Allen started
opposite Lucas at guard and scored only 3-P, but had a game-high 5-A. However,
Allen came out of the contest with the game tied at 61 after injuring his right foot
in an awkward landing.
Reserve Gillenwater led New Mexico State with 17-P and Gibson had 16-P. Before
fouling-out, Young scored 13-P.
Team rebounding was even at 40-40, an unexpected development which helped
keep the Aggies in the game.
MSU moves on to face Maryland Sunday afternoon in the Midwest Regionals.
The Spartans are now 25-8. New Mexico State bowed out at 22-12.
MSU H-COACH TOM IZZO: "We missed a dunk and a layup right off the bat [to
start of the second half]. They hit some shots. And it went into a dogfight after that
...I don't want to say I'm glad we had a close game, but I learned something about
these guys that I've been looking for this year. We were ready to play, we played
well early, we struggled the second half and we finished the game. We've survived
MSU GD KALIN LUCAS: "It was personal a little bit. But at the same time, I wasn't
doing a lot of talking. I just went out there and proved myself."
MSU FWD RAYMAR MORGAN: "They came out really aggressive and in attack mode
[in the 2nd-H]. Gillenwater did an excellent job in executing and scoring in different
ways. Those guys just made plays. But we got the win."
MSU FWD DRAYMOND GREEN: "They were more aggressive to score [after the
intermission]. Those guys came at us and they played a pretty good game."
NMSt GD JAHMAR YOUNG: "They took the air out of the game. The refs...they did
their jobs I guess, but [that's] not NCAA basketball. I didn't think it was going to end
up like that...Techs from talking to a player? We're men. This is collegiate basketball.
The next step is pros. We're men. Just don't take the air out of the game for our team."
NMSt H-COACH MARVIN MENZIES: "We would have had a much different approach to
the last few seconds [if the clock had been properly reset at 0.6-sec before the last
in-bounds]. I think I would have had something designed to get us to the foul line at
@ MILWAUKEE, WI:
Oakland University discovered the stark reality that the NCAA tournamenmt
ain't the Summit LGE.
OU had won a school record 11 straight and 20-of-21, all against Summit opponents,
entering Friday afternoon's NCAA first round action. However, as they had against
"Big Boy" foes Kansas, Michigan State and Syracuse earlier in the season, the Golden
Grizzlies proved to be no match for Pittsburgh.
The Panthers out-classed Oakland 89-66.
Oakland led for most of the opening 13-mins, but lost FWD Derick Nelson for the
rest of the opening half when an accidental elbow from Pitt's Gary McGhee opened a
six stitch cut over Nelson's left eye. Nelson's injury sparked a 19-2 Pitt run and a
29-12 closing burst to end the 1st-H. The Panthers led 39-26 at the half, started the
2nd-H on a 6-1 surge and OU never challenged after that.
Oakland shot just 8-for-28 (28.6%) in the first half and only 19-of-57 (33.3%) for
the game including 4-of-21 from beyond the 3-point arc.
Keith Benson was OU's lone reliable weapon with 28-P. At the mid-point of the 2nd-H
Benson had 23 of Oakland's 44-P. The only other Grizzly in double figures was reserve
Ledrick Eackles with 17-P. Nelson returned in the 2nd-H but scored just 1-P in the
game, although he matched Bensoin's 9-RB for co-game-high honors.
By contrast, six Pitt players scored in double figures. Jermaine Dixon and Gilbert
Brown both had 17-P, Nasir Robinson and Brad Wanamaker each added 13-P, McGhee
had 12-P and Travon Woodall 10-P.
The Panthers advance with a 25-8 record and Oakland ended at 26-9.
Benson finished with a school record 367-RB for the season.
Oakland fell to 0-3 all-time vs Pitt and 1-2 in its NCAA tourney history.
OU H-COACH GREG KAMPE: "We didn't make shots. Are they bigger than the
teams we normally play against? Yes. Are they more athletic than the teams
we normally play against? Sure. But you look around this thing and the teams
that get the upsets are the teams that make shots."
OU GD LARRY WRIGHT: "[Nelson's injury] changed a lot. He's our rock on this
team. He can rebound, defend, score. He does everything for us. We didn't pick
up the slack when he got hurt. That really hurt us. We didn't back him up."
OU FWD DERICK NELSON: ""I'm all right. Injuries happen."
PITT GD BRAD WANAMAKER: "We started driving, penetrating, extra passes,
got some open looks, got some rebounds and made a run."
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