MSU escapes at home once again

Spartans struggle to close out against Penn State on Wednesday night before sneaking out a 66-60 win

Michigan State just can’t shake playing close games at Breslin Center. Once again Wednesday night, the Spartans were in a back-and-forth game late.

This time, it was Penn State giving the Spartans a run for everything they had before MSU finally pulled out the 66-60 win.

MSU used two quick, late runs – the first an 8-0 run and the second a 5-0 run – to pull ahead.

The first was aided by a technical foul on Penn State coach Pat Chambers, who was called for a technical after a foul called on his team prior to the final media timeout. Denzel Valentine, who hit a midrange jumper from the elbow before the technical, made the second free throw then Matt Costello hit Bryn Forbes in the corner for a 3-pointer to give MSU a 57-51 lead.

A Branden Dawson steal led to an open court lay in for Travis Trice and MSU broke ahead 59-51, but Penn State was not done.

Jordan Dickerson hit a pair of free throws and Shep Garner hit the front end of a one-and-one before D.J. Newbill – who had a game-high 27 points – made a lay up to pull within 59-56.

But again MSU burst ahead 63-56 with a quick run. Costello went up and under the hoop for a lay in and Dawson’s defense against led to a Trice lay in down the floor after he blocked a Newbill shot.

Forbes was big in the second half for MSU. The junior missed his first three 3-point attempts, but came back to hit three in the second half.

The star of the night for the Spartans was Gavin Schilling, who had 11 points and 10 rebounds. Dawson finished with another double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.

Valentine finished with 11 points, Trice with 11 and Costello with 10.

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