Michigan State had trouble putting away South Carolina last night but the second-ranked Spartans were able to hold off the visiting Gamecocks 82-to-73 at the Breslin Center. The final horn didn’t sound until 12:30 this morning following the ten p.m. starting time for the game that closed out ESPN’s College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon that featured 25-straight hours of college basketball on the network.
Michigan State led 42-to-25 at halftime, but then 14 Spartan turnovers after the intermission and missed free throws allowed South Carolina to hang around. They cut the lead to 6 with 2:13 left to play but couldn’t get any closer. Durrell Summers had a team-high 22 points for MSU. Draymond Green had a double-double of 18 points and 12 rebounds.
Delvon Roe chipped in 15 points for the Spartans, who were coming off an easy 30-point win in their season opener over Eastern Michigan last Friday. MSU last night made only half of its 34 free throws and committed 19 turnovers. They’ll have to play better than that next week at the Maui Invitational, where they might meet up with Kentucky and then next month they’ve got top-ranked Duke and number-10 Syracuse on the schedule.
Last night, Duke cruised past Miami-Ohio 79-to-45 while Syracuse beat Detroit Mercy 66-to-55.