Las Vegas — Cassius Winston had 19 points and seven assists to help No. 11 Michigan State cruise past No. 17 UCLA, 87-67, on Thursday night to reach the final of the Las Vegas Invitational.
Nick Ward scored 16 points, Joshua Langford had 14 and Josh McQuaid had 11 for Michigan State (4-1).
“It was one of those weird times my assistants did a good job, my players did a good job,” said Michigan State coach Tom Izzo, whose team shot 52 percent. “And when you make shots, you look better than you are.”
The Spartans will play Texas in the championship game at 6:30 p.m. Friday (Fox/760). The Bruins (4-1) take on No. 7 North Carolina in the consolation game.
Izzo didn’t get to see Texas upset North Carolina earlier in the day, but Michigan State had already done film work on the Longhorns and has some idea what to expect.
“They’re athletic, they’re really athletic,” Izzo said. “From what I heard, they played a lot better than we saw them on film.”
Kris Wilkes had 15 points to lead UCLA. Jaylen Hands and Chris Smith each had 11 points for the Bruins, who shot 36 percent from the field.
Michigan State shot 52 percent from the field and led throughout, building a 29-point lead with 1:49 until halftime. The Spartans shot 10 of 17 from 3-point range in the session, while UCLA shot 24 percent.