SPOKANE, WA – Michigan State got all they could handle from twelfth-seeded Harvard, but in the end, the Spartans survived a second half scare to defeat the Crimson 80-73.
Junior guard Branden Dawson led Sparty with 26 points on super-efficient 12-of-15 shooting, while also pulling down 9 boards. Gary Harris also chipped in 18 points, 5 assists, and 4 steals for the East Region’s four-seed.
Harvard mounted a giant comeback mid-way through the second half on the backs of Wesley’s Saunders’s 22 points (including a perfect 10-of-10 from the foul line) and a huge double-double from forward Steve Moundou-Missi (11 points and 11 rebounds). After taking their first lead at 62-60 with 7:11 to go in the second half, Tommy Amaker’s squad was unable to withstand the Spartans’ counter-punch, and the Crimson’s upset bid ultimately fell short.
Ted Robinson and Bill Frieder called the action on WestwoodOne Sports.
(Moundou-Missi with a thunderous jam)
(Moundou-Missi’s tip-in brings Harvard to life – down 2)
(Wesley Saunders’s dunk ties it at 55)
(Laurent Rivard’s three-pointer gives Harvard its first lead at 63-62)
(Travis Trice’s triple stops the bleeding and put MSU back up 63-62)
(The final call as the Spartans survive and advance to the Sweet Sixteen)
(Postgame interview with Michigan State’s Gary Harris)
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