Spartans Shocked in Double OT by Grand Valley

The exhibition loss doesn't count in the standings but is likely to cause MSU to drop in the polls anyway. The Spartans have another exhibition against Michigan Tech at 7:00pm EST on Wednesday before opening the regular season against Chicago State in the CBE Classic.

EAST LANSING - Grand Valley State used two overtimes to pull off a shocking 85-82 exhibition win over Michigan State.

The Lakers blanketed Spartans All-American guard Drew Neitzel, forcing him into a 3-for-15 shooting performance and their suffocating matchup zone exposed some shooting weaknesses in the Green-and-White's lineup.

Still, Neitzel managed to hit two free throws with 4.7 seconds remaining in regulation to send the ball game to overtime. The Spartans led by as many as four in the overtime following a steal by Travis Walton resulting in a Drew Naymick dunk and a three-pointer by Neitzel.

The Lakers fought back when star forward Callilstus Eziukwu hit two free throws and Jason Jamerson got behind the Spartans defense for a lay-up with :30 seconds remaining. Kalin Lucas missed a three-pointer shot and a rebound shot that would have won it for MSU.

GVSU took command immediately in the second overtime. Tied at 77, Eziukwu hit back to back jumpers to give the Lakers a four-point advantage. Chris Allen's two free throws pulled MSU to within one with :44 remaining, but Eziukwu post move put the Lakers up by three and Neitzel's attempt to tie it missed badly.

"If you ask me what was most disappointing," said MSU head coach Tom Izzo, "it was, that was the biggest exhibition game crowd there ever was (sellout), and we sure didn't...we delivered a good game I guess. But we didn't deliver good play. And I apologize to them, because that was a good crowd, and we didn't show."

The sellout was due in part to a huge pep rally to pump up fan excitement for MSU big football game vs. crosstown rival Michigan on Saturday.

Izzo pointed to Grand Valley's 44-41 rebounding edge as the difference. GVSU's Ric Wesley said his team wanted it more.

"We just tried and get in there and scrap and claw. We probably do the same drills everybody else does but it still comes down to desire and commitment to get in there and throw your body around and our guys did that enough tonight. I don't know that we have any magic or secret drills. I just yell at them a lot and go get it."

The exhibition loss doesn't count in the standings but is likely to cause MSU to drop in the polls anyway. The Spartans have another exhibition against Michigan Tech at 7:00pm EST on Wednesday before opening the regular season against Chicago State in the CBE Classic.

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