Spartans Defense Too Tough 74-69

Michigan State's seniors Travis Walton and Goran Suton provided the leadership the Spartans needed to survive a nip-tuck game against a tough USC squad in a 74-69 victory which sends MSU to the Sweet Sixteen in Indianapolis next week against Kansas.

Michigan State's seniors Travis Walton and Goran Suton provided the leadership the Spartans needed to survive a nip-tuck game against a tough USC squad in a 74-69 victory which sends MSU to the Sweet Sixteen in Indianapolis next week.

The Spartans and the Trojans played a classic game which saw 13 lead changes and neither team had a bigger lead than the final margin of victory, five points by Michigan State.

With Michigan State leading at half by three, USC jumped out to an 11-2 run to take a 48-42 lead and appeared to take command of the game, but Michigan State answered with two Kalin Lucas free throws, a Chris Allen three-ball, a Durrell Summers three-ball and a Lucas layup, a 10-0 run and the Spartans reclaimed the lead.

But after holding the Trojans bench scoreless in the first half, freshman Nikola Vucevic sparked USC with six points off the bench. But Travis Walton hit back-to-back jumpers to keep MSU in the ball game.

MSU defense then went to work holding USC scoreless over the last 3:53 seconds and making three free throws to close out the ball game.

Without question, Goran Suton's defense on USC Taj Gibson - who was frustrated into a three point foul out performance - was a key in keeping USC out of their offense and tired the remaining players who had played long minutes in their win over BC and were forced to do it again.

Travis Walton's offensive outburst, leading the team with 18 points and two assists was amazing. Walton seemingly willed Michigan State to the win with his floor game and his 8-of-13 shooting performance.

MSU got solid contributions from Durrell Summers with 11 and eight rebounds, Chris Allen with 8 points and three assists, Draymond Green with seven points and nine boards while Delvon Roe added ten and Kalin Lucas chipped in with 10 points and a solid seven assists.

The Spartans (28-6) now have a rematch and a date in Indianapolis next week against the Kansas Jayhawks next Friday (March 27) at Lucas Oil Staidum in the Sweet Sixteen.


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