No. 2 Spartans need rally in rebound effort

LAHAINA, Hawaii — It wasn't the tournament win Michigan State has been looking for going on a dozen years now. That went away with a loss in the semifinals.

Beating a good team in a tight game at least took some of the sting off.

Kalin Lucas scored 29 and keyed a second-half rally, helping the second-ranked Spartans salvage a 76-71 win over No. 13 Washington in the third-place game of the Maui Invitational on Wednesday.

"It was good to come out and get a win like that, especially after the loss we took last night," said Michigan State forward Draymond Green, who had 12 points and six rebounds.

Michigan State (4-1) trailed by 10 after a turnover-filled first half but charged back behind Lucas. The senior guard scored seven points during an opening 18-5 run that put the Spartans up 52-49 and hit two clinching free throws in the final seconds after injuring his knee minutes earlier.

Lucas lingered on the floor after Washington's Justin Holiday fell on his left knee late in the game but returned quickly and finished with a flourish, shooting 9-of-13 from the field with four 3-pointers.

"I dove for a loose ball and they kind of hit me on my knee," Lucas said. "My knee's fine. I really don't know what I did to it."

Washington (3-2) had a decent day offensively, shooting superbly in the first half after a slow start, keeping up with the Spartans in a counterpunching second. The Huskies just couldn't get the stops, particularly down the stretch to suffer a second straight defeat.

Matt Bryan-Amaning led Washington with 15 points and Isaiah Thomas added 13 and six assists.

Michigan State struggled in the first round against Chaminade before pulling it out and lost a physical game to unranked Connecticut in the semifinals.

When it comes to during-the-season tournaments, the Spartans can't seem to get things right. Michigan State is in a 13-year championship drought, with losses in Maui, Alaska, Kansas City and Puerto Rico, among others.

"We did show some character because it wasn't easy," Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said. "We had a tough loss (Tuesday) in a game we led down the stretch and thought we could have won. It's disappointing to not win the tournament, but … there's about three teams here are I think are as good as we'll face all year."

No. 15 Minn. 84, N. Dakota St. 65: Blake Hoffarber scored 24, including four 3-pointers, and the host Gophers (6-0) cruised past the Bison (3-2).

No. 24 Tenn. 77, VCU 72: Scotty Hopson had 18 points when nobody else seemed able to score, and the Vols (4-0) rallied behind embattled coach Bruce Pearl to beat Virginia Commonwealth (3-1) in the semifinals of the NIT Season Tip-Off in New York. Tobias Harris added 15 points and Cameron Tatum had 11 for Tennessee, which was playing its first game since Pearl was punished by SEC commissioner Mike Slive last week for violating NCAA rules and misleading investigators. The Vols will play No. 7 Villanova or UCLA for the championship Friday night.

Miami 79, McNeese State 59: Freshman Rion Brown scored 16 to lead a balanced attack in as the host Hurricanes (3-2) beat the Cowboys (2-3). Brown, who hit 4 of 6 from 3-point range, was one of six Hurricanes to finish in double figures as Miami rebounded from its loss at Rutgers. The Hurricanes extended a 12-point halftime lead to 54-32 on two 3-pointers by Malcolm Grant and one apiece from Durand Scott and Garrius Adams during the first 3:14 of the second half.

Dayton 80, FAMU 60: Josh Parker scored 18 as the host Flyers (5-0) beat the Rattlers (2-3) at the Global Sports Main Event. The Rattlers were led by Yannick Crowder's 15 points.

N. Fla. 59, Morgan St. 52: Andy Diaz, Matt Sauey and Parker Smith scored 11 apiece as the Ospreys (3-3) defeated the Bears (2-3) to win the championship game of the Cancun Challenge-Mayan Division bracket in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico.

Chaminade 68, Okla. 64: Steven Bennett scored on a contested drive with 16 seconds left and the Division II Silverswords (4-2) upset the Sooners (3-3) in the seventh-place game of the Maui Invitational in Hawaii.

Women

Purdue player ailing: Hours after the Boilermakers canceled a trip to Mexico because of a sick teammate, a team doctor said junior forward Drey Mingo is progressing in her recovery. Mingo was hospitalized with bacterial meningitis, an inflammation of the coverings around the brain and spine that can be fatal. The team's second-leading scorer is listed in stable but critical condition at an undisclosed hospital in West Lafayette, Ind.

No. 6 Duke 93, Pitt 55: Jasmine Thomas had 16 points and the Blue Devils (5-0) got 44 points from their bench, pulling away from the Panthers (2-2) in the second half.

No. 16 Texas 82, Idaho St. 68: Ashleigh Fontenette and Chassidy Fussell each scored 20 as the host Longhorns (4-0) beat the Bengals (3-3).

No. 2 Spartans need rally in rebound effort 11/24/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 24, 2010 11:03pm]

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