Michigan State survives Villanova comeback bid, 73-71

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Tyson Walker scored 22 points and Michigan State held off a late Villanova rally to pull out a 73-71 victory on Friday Night.

Walker’s jumper with 1:58 left gave the Spartans a 70-63 lead, but Eric Dixon answered with a 3 to cut the Villanova deficit to 70-66, and after trading layups, Caleb Daniels stole the ball from Michigan State’s Joey Hauser with 53 seconds left and Jordan Longino drained the 3-pointer to get the Wildcats within one, 72-71. Walker hit the first of two free throws with 16 seconds left to make it 73-71 and Dixon’s potential winning 3 caromed off and the Spartans grabbed the rebound.

A.J. Hoggard hit 3 of 6 from distance and posted a double-double for Michigan State (3-1), scoring 13 points and dishing 10 assists. Hauser added 13 points and Malik Hall hit 2 of 3 from behind the arc and contributed 12 points.

Dixon finished with 24 points and nine rebounds to lead Villanova (2-2). Brandon Slater had 16 points and Daniels added 13 points and had three steals.

Both teams head to Portland, Oregon, for the Phil Knight Invitational. Villanova faces Iowa State and Michigan State takes on No. 18 Alabama in first-round games and, Ore. on Thanksgiving Day.

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