Auburn Hills, MI – Kalin Lucas scored his 25th point on a free throw with 4.6 seconds left and that proved to be the difference, as seventh-ranked Michigan State held on for a 77-76 victory over Oakland at the Palace of Auburn Hills.
After Korie Lucious hit two from the line to give the Spartans a 76-70 edge with 12 seconds to play, Reggie Hamilton drilled a three-pointer to pull the Grizzlies within three. Lucas was then fouled and missed the first free throw before calmly draining the second for a four-point lead. Hamilton added another three-pointer just before the buzzer to account for final margin.
Lucas finished 10-of-12 from the stripe for Michigan State (7-3), which bounced back from Tuesday’s 72-58 loss to Syracuse at Madison Square Garden with another struggling effort. Durrell Summers and Keith Appling each scored 12 points for the Spartans, while Draymond Green contributed 11 points with five assists and five rebounds.
Larry Wright scored 21 points for Oakland (5-5), which had won four in a row before starting a three-game stretch against ranked opponents with a 74-63 loss at Illinois on Wednesday. The Grizzlies will finish the ranked run on Tuesday at Tennessee.
Keith Benson posted a double-double of 17 points and 12 rebounds in defeat.