Recap: MSU escapes NCAA tourney opener with 74-73 win over Davidson

Nolan Bianchi
Special to The Detroit News

Michigan State came through in the clutch against Davidson in its NCAA Tournament opener behind 27 points from Joey Hauser and advanced with a 74-73 win in Greenville, South Carolina.

The Spartan victory sets up a matchup on Sunday with Duke in the Round of 32, as Tom Izzo and Mike Krzyzewski will face off in the NCAA Tournament one final time. 

Hauser's 27 points tied a career-high; he was 9-for-12 from the field and 4-for-6 from the 3-point line and added eight rebounds. AJ Hoggard scored 14 and Gabe Brown added 12.

Michigan State trying to close out Davidson in late stages

Michigan State guard A.J. Hoggard drives on Davidson forward Sam Mennenga in the first half.

Julius Marble makes a free throw out of the break to put Michigan State up by five with 3:01 remaining.

Davidson has gone ice cold on offense. Michigan State is on a 13-3 run over the last 5:09, as we've now got 1:35 left in the game.

Joey Hauser makes a pair of free throws to put Michigan State up seven, and after Malik Hall takes a charge on the defensive end, it looks like this one might belong to Michigan State.

Not if Foster Loyer has anything to say about it, though. He makes an and-1 layup after Gabe Brown goes 1 of 2 from the free-throw line to make it a five-point game with 46 seconds left.

Hauser makes a pair of free throws, which is answered at the other end with a 3-pointer. It's 69-65, Michigan State, with 37 seconds to go.

Malik Hall straight-up throws the in-bound pass out of bounds, but the Spartans catch a break when Davidson misses a pair of 3-pointers on a mess of a possession.

Hauser extends the lead to five with 11 seconds left, but Loyer hits a 3-pointer at the other end to make it a two-point game with 4 seconds to go.

Michigan State will regroup with a timeout.

Tyson Walker is fouled as Michigan State successfully inbounds the ball. He hits the first one off a fortuitous bounce, then hits the second one with nothing but net.

Despite a 3-pointer in the final second, Michigan State escapes with a win.

FINAL: Michigan State 74, Davidson 73

Michigan State, Davidson in a fight to the finish in NCAA Tournament

Michigan State snaps a scoring drought of nearly 5:30 with a layup from AJ Hoggard that pulls the Spartans within one. Sam Mennenga answers with a layup. 

Michigan State is just 1 of its last 8 from the field.

Davidson 54, Michigan State 51 (6:54 2nd)

Joey Hauser picks up a foul on the defensive end, but after a pair of missed free throws, drills a 3-pointer to bring his total on the 22 (9 of 11 shooting) and tie the game at 56. Gabe Brown hits a 3-pointer on the next possession to make it a three-point lead for Michigan State.

After Michigan State and Davidson trade baskets, Julius Marble puts home an and-1 layup to put the Spartans up four with the chance for one more after the commercial break.

Michigan State 63, Davidson 59 (3:01 2nd)

Davidson takes lead midway through second half

Marcus Bingham Jr. opens the half with a jumper that puts the Spartans up 34-31, but Sam Mennenga answers with a 3 to tie the game.

A 3-point play is then matched by a 3-pointer from Joey Hauser, who now has 17 points while shooting a perfect 3-for-3 from beyond the arc. Another 3-pointer from Michael Jones, and a jumper from Hauser to give him a season-high 19 points. Both teams are on fire, similarly to the first half.

Michigan State has made 4 of its last 5 field goals; Davidson has made 4 of its last 4, as we're tied again.

Michigan State 43, Davidson 43 (14:53 2nd)

Foster Loyer sinks a pair of free throws that make it 45-45 after Gabe Brown makes a layup out of the break. 

Davidson regains the lead with a 3-pointer from Hyungjung Lee and a jumper from Luka Brajkovic. Another bucket on the next possession from Brajkovic makes it a 7-0 run for Davidson, forcing a Michigan State timeout.

Davidson 52, Michigan State 49 (9:27 2nd)

Both teams go cold before halftime

Both teams hit another drought; with 51 seconds left in the half, Michigan State has gone 2:09 without scoring and Davidson 4:10 (with five missed shots in a row).

Michigan State guard Jaden Akins drives to the basket past Davidson guard Michael Jones during the first half of Friday's game in the first round of the NCAA tournament in Greenville, S.C.

The officials just called a shot-clock violation on a Davidson shot hit the rim, and they're in all sorts of disarray. They overturn the call, and give it back to Davidson, despite Michigan State pulling down the rebound on the actual shot. To make the situation more harmful for the Spartans, Davidson scores on that possession.

AJ Hoggard gets to the free-throw line with 10 seconds left in the half and misses both. Michigan State will take a one-point lead into halftime.

END 1ST: Michigan State 32, Davidson 31 

Offense reigning supreme early 

Michigan State has made five consecutive shots from the floor and Davidson has made 5 of its last 7, as we're all tied at 19. Gabe Brown knocks down a 3-pointer, which is answered on the other end with a 3-pointer by Michael Jones. This scoring pace is absurd, but frankly a lot of fun.

Each team has now made four 3-pointers, as we're all tied at 26. 

Michigan State 26, Davidson 26 (5:38 1st)

The scoring has slowed up a bit, but both teams are shooting better than 50-percent from the field as we cross under the 5-minute mark.

A free throw from Jones and two from Foster Loyer makes it 29-26, Davidson, as the Wildcats are now on an 8-0 run. Michigan State answers by scoring on three straight possessions, going up 32-29. Hauser leads the way with 12 points.

Michigan State 32, Davidson 29 (2:53 1st)

Michigan State, Davidson trading leads to open game

Michigan State starts off on a nice little run behind a bucket from AJ Hoggard and 3-pointers from Gabe Brown and Joey Hauser, taking an 8-2 lead. Sam Mennenga answers for Davidson with a 3-pointer of his own, as we're off and running in Greenville.

Michigan State 8, Davidson 5 (15:34 1st)

The Spartans take a 10-7 lead on a putback from Marcus Bingham, but Desmond Watson answers with a 3-pointer that ties the game at 10. After a foul on Davidson, Foster Loyer checks back in.

Sam Mennenga dunks to give Davidson a lead and is fouled by Bingham. Joey Hauser splashes a 3-pointer to put Michigan State ahead before the next media timeout.

Michigan State 15, Davidson 14 (11:17 1st)


Michigan State meets a (somewhat) familiar foe in its first-round NCAA Tournament matchup on Friday night, as the 7-seed Spartans look to handle a Davidson squad led by former Michigan State guard Foster Loyer.

Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo takes a break during shootaround before the game against Davidson in the first round of the NCAA tournament at Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville, South Carolina.

Michigan State enters the tournament on somewhat of a solid run after a rocky season. The Spartans beat Maryland to close the regular season and open the Big Ten Tournament, then beat Wisconsin in the quarterfinals before seeing their run end in the semifinals to Purdue. 

Davidson, meanwhile, fell to Richmond in the Atlantic 10 tournament final, but was a force to be reckoned with in the A-10 for much of its season.

NCAA Tournament

No. 7 Michigan State vs. No. 10 Davidson

►Tip-off: 9:40 p.m. Friday, Bon Secours Wellness Arena, Greenville, South Carolina

►TV/radio: CBS/WJR 760

Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo, right, arrives before the game against Davidson in the first round of NCAA tournament at Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville, South Carolina.

►Records: Michigan State 22-12; Davidson 27-6

►Line: Michigan State by 1.5 points