The win offsets an 81-74 loss last Tuesday night in Durham, North Carolina at the hands of the Duke Blue Devils, and Saturday afternoon's 96-83 loss to George Washington in the opening round of the BB&T Classic.
After the tough start to the week, MSU coach Tom Izzo seemed relieved to end the week with a win.
"I'll be honest with you; it was a hard game to play in for us," Izzo said. "I think we had looked forward to hopefully getting a shot at Maryland in the championship game. When you come to a tournament like this as a ranked team, you don't want to play in the consolation game.
"I don't look at our lack of beating them by more than that as the end of the world. Number one, I give credit to them and, number two, I understand how hard it is to play in a consolation game."
George Mason was facing a ranked opponent for the second consecutive game and the third time this season, both firsts in school history. The Patriots lost 78-54 to No. 12 Maryland in the opening round at the MCI Center.
Lamar Butler led the Patriots (3-3) with 19 points, while Jai Lewis added 12 points and eight rebounds. Butler scored 11 of the first 15 points in the second half for the Patriots, who trailed by nine points with 14:58 to go.
Lewis' inside basket with 9:26 left got George Mason within 51-49, but Lewis missed the free throw to convert a three-point play. John Vaughn's fast-break basket cut the Spartans' lead to 56-55 with 4:59 remaining.
Davis and Anderson scored to make it 62-57 before Vaughn converted a 3 from the left corner with 23 seconds left, pulling the Patriots within four points.
Michigan State finished the game with a 33-to-22 edge on the boards, led by Paul Davis and Alan Anderson (7 each). In addition, the Spartan bench outscored the Patriots 29-to-10 on the afternoon. MSU was led off the pine by Davis' 12 points, while Shannon Brown added 10 points.
The Spartans will now take a few days off before traveling to Auburn Hills, Michigan next Saturday to take on the Stanford Cardinal. The game will be nationally televised by CBS and is scheduled to tip-off at 4 p.m.
Spartan Notebook: In an effort to shake the team out of their slump and to keep Paul Davis out of the early foul trouble, which had plagued him in the George Washington defeat the day before; Izzo choose to start forward Delco Rowley and guard Tim Bograkos in place of Davis and Shannon Brown.
It should be noted however that both Davis (26 minutes) and Brown (23 minutes) logged more playing time than Bograkos and Rowley (17 minutes apiece) by the end of the game.