Recap: Michigan State smothers LSU, 80-63, in Sweet 16 matchup

Nolan Bianchi
The Detroit News
LSU guard Skylar Mays (4) loses control of the ball as he goes up against Michigan State forwards Xavier Tillman (23) and Kenny Goins (25) during the first half.

Game summary

Michigan State out-rebounded, out-shot and outscored LSU in its Sweet 16 matchup Friday night, advancing to the Elite 8 with a 80-63 victory.

Freshman Aaron Henry led the Spartans with 20, Cassius Winston 17 and Gabe Brown 15.

Michigan State closes out Sweet 16 victory

Matt McQuaid gets his first bucket of the night, a big 3-pointer that ends LSU's run. Kavell Bigby-Williams comes right back the other way for LSU, though, and throws down a dunk.

McQuaid later catches a pass from Cassius Winston, drives for contact, and puts home a layup. He makes the free throw, pushing Michigan State's lead to 13. 

FINAL: Michigan State 80, LSU 63 

LSU draws within 10 at final media timeout

Tremont Waters hits a 3-pointer. He's about the best thing LSU's got going this game, currently with a game-high 23.

Nick Ward goes to the ground hard while going up for a rebound. He's helped off the court. Cassius Winston hits a jump shot, bringing Michigan State to 70 points.

Kavell Bigby-Williams hits a layup for LSU. It's a 14-point game as we cross over the five-minute mark. Naz Reid makes it 12 points a possession later.

Skylar Mays then strips Winston at the perimeter and is fouled on his way down the court by the Spartan guard. Reid then scores, making it a 10-point game.

Media timeout: Michigan State 70, LSU 60 (3:49 2nd)

Michigan State keeping LSU at a distance into crunch time

Emmitt Williams ends the Spartan run with a jump shot. Gabe Brown responds for the Spartans.

Media timeout: Michigan State 58, LSU 43 (13:17 2nd)

Naz Reid hits a layup out of the break.

Media timeout: Michigan State 58, LSU 45 (11:43 2nd)

Aaron Henry hits a jumper in the paint.

Darius Days hits a 3-pointer. Gabe Brown matches the triple a possession later after Nick Ward comes up with a huge block at the rim.

Brown then hits a free throw to make it 64-48. 

Xavier Tillman gets fouled inside and is awarded a pair of free throws. He makes both.

Tremont Waters makes a 3-pointer to draw LSU within 15. Cassius Winston then hits a jump shot.

Media timeout: Michigan State 68, LSU 51 (7:41 2nd)

Michigan State slams door on LSU comeback with consecutive 3-pointers

Tremont Waters opens the second half with a 3-pointer. Matt McQuaid fouls Waters on the next defensive possession; he sinks both, and just like that, it's a 7-point game.

Waters then strips Cassius Winston and lays it in with nobody in front of him. Make it a 5-point game now, 40-35.  Xavier Tillman then misses an easy bucket inside.

Tillman fouls Kavell Bigby-Williams. He makes one free throw. Kenny Goins brings the Spartans to life with a 3-pointer.

Aaron Henry dishes to Tillman on a fast break for a layup. Bigby-Williams answers with an and-1 bucket. The free throw is good.

Winston misses a jumper and Bigby-Williams throws down a thunderous dunk to make it 45-41. Gabe Brown — noted 3-point assassin — hits a triple to make it a 7-point game.

Winston hits a mid-range jumper, and it's 50-41. Henry then drills a 3-pointer. 12-point game. These Spartans are battle-tested, and they're showing it now.

Goins then gets in on the party, hitting another 3-pointer. Talk about a momentum swing.

Media timeout: Michigan State 56, LSU 41 (14:34 2nd)


Michigan State keeping up fast-paced offense toward end of half

Cassius Winston drills a 3-pointer to give the Spartans a 15-point lead after the break. They're on a 10-1 run.

Matt McQuaid brings up the energy even more that a steal attempt that results in a jump ball, with the possession arrow in Michigan State's favor.

Xavier Tillman and Kavell Bigby-Williams get tangled up on a rebound. Bigby-Williams is assessed a foul, but officials are reviewing whether it was a hook-and-hold. After several minutes, it's determined to merely be a common foul. 

Aaron Henry hits a floater in the paint. It's 34-17.

LSU is getting absolutely killed on the glass. Michigan State has nine offensive rebounds, and the Tigers have just five total. 

Naz Reid hits a layup. Henry makes another jumper. He's 6-for-9 from the field.

LSU and Michigan State trader buckets again, with Emmitt Williams scoring for the Tigers and Nick Ward getting his first points of the game for Michigan state.

Then it's Marlon Taylor matching Ward's bucket, making it 40-23. Taylor gets another one moments later.

Media timeout: Michigan State 40, LSU 25 (0:49 1st)

Tremont Waters drills a 3-pointer as the half comes to a close.

Halftime: Michigan State 40, LSU 28 

Aaron Henry leading Spartans on offense

Tremont Waters strips Matt McQuaid at the perimeter and heads the other way for a two-handed slam.

LSU's Skylar Mays and Darius Days are assessed back-to-back fouls. Kenny Goins drills a 3-pointer moments later, giving Michigan State a 9-point lead.

Kavell Bigby-Williams draws a shooting foul. He sinks one of two. Aaron Henry snipes a mid-range jumper, making it 27-17, Michigan State.

Henry then grabs an offensive rebound and puts it back for another bucket. He's got a game-high 9 points.

Media timeout: Michigan State 29, LSU 17 (7:41 1st)

Michigan State holding on to 8-point lead as LSU heats up

Game Brown gets Michigan State's first bench points of the game, a triple that gives Michigan State a 13-5 lead. Naz Reid immediately answers by bullying Kenny Goins inside and hitting a layup.

Brown then hits another 3-pointer. The freshman from Belleville is making an impact early. 

Goins is assessed a foul after making contact with Tremont Waters, who will go to the line for a pair of free throws. He makes both.

Brown fires from 3, but this one misses. Xavier Tillman grabs a rebound, puts it back for 2, and will go to the line for another. LSU's Skylar Mays drills a jumper in the paint on the other end.

Cassius Winston hits a 3-pointer, which is quickly matched by Mays on the next LSU possession.

Media timeout: Michigan State 22, LSU 14 (11:39 1st)

Michigan State opens game on fire from field

Michigan State opens with hot start from the field. Aaron Henry hits back-to-back jumpers — the second from deep — to give Michigan State a 5-0 lead over LSU.

Cassius Winston adds another 3-pointer moments later, and LSU needs a breather.

LSU timeout: Michigan State 8, LSU 0 (18:13 1st)

LSU gets on the board with a basket inside from Tremont Waters, which also draws a foul. He sinks a free throw to complete the 3-point play.

Xavier Tillman adds his first points of the game with a layup, which Waters quickly matches on the other end to make it 10-5, Michigan State.

Kenny Goins is unable to finish an alley-oop.

Media timeout: Michigan State 10, LSU 5 (15:48 1st)


Michigan State takes its shot at a spot in the NCAA Tournament’s Elite Eight with a game against LSU on Friday night. Follow the action with live updates throughout the game by Nolan Bianchi of The Detroit News.



Tip-off: 7:09 Friday, Capital One Arena, Washington

TV/radio: CBS/760

Records: Michigan State 30-6; LSU 28-6

Next up: Winner faces No. 1 Duke or No. 4 Virginia Tech in the Elite Eight.


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