LSU
MICHST

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Freshmen lead Michigan State past LSU and into Elite Eight

WASHINGTON (AP) Matt McQuaid could not believe LSU was giving Michigan State freshmen Aaron Henry and Gabe Brown so much room at the 3-point line.

''They were like 3 or 4 feet off Gabe on that one 3,'' McQuaid said. ''I was like, `Dang, do they know he can shoot?'''

Henry scored a career-best 20 and Brown had a career-high 15 as the second-seeded Spartans beat third-seeded LSU 80-63 on Friday night to move on to the NCAA Tournament's East Region final. Coach Tom Izzo's upperclassman-heavy team is one victory against Duke away from its first Final Four appearance since 2015 - and the freshmen led the way.

''They were huge tonight in a lot of ways,'' senior point guard Cassius Winston said of Henry and Brown. ''They won the game. They were confident, they trusted in their abilities, they took their shots that they were supposed to and they just stepped up in a big way.

Michigan State took it to LSU on the glass, outrebounding the Tigers 34-20. At halftime, Michigan State had as many offensive rebounds as LSU had total rebounds, at times making it look like 5-on-4 when the ball came off the rim.

''It was very frustrating,'' LSU big man Naz Reid said. ''They wanted it more, and they got it.''

It didn't bounce off the rim much for the Spartans early as they took advantage of an LSU defense that left them uncontested 3-point shots. Michigan State had five 3s in the first 10 minutes alone, and LSU never adjusted defensively.

Tremont Waters scored 10 points during a 13-0 LSU run spanning the end of the first half into the second to cut the deficit to four. Then Michigan State blew the game open again with 3-pointers. The Spartans hit four of their first five 3-point attempts out of halftime to pull away.

''That was kind of a shot in the foot because we knew they were capable of hitting those 3s,'' Waters said.

Henry did his best Draymond Green impression as the do-it-all 6-foot-6 forward was all over the offensive end of the floor. He had eight rebounds and six assists and was 9 of 14 from the floor.

''It was one of those nights where I just felt like the basket was huge,'' Henry said. ''And I'm glad it was that way tonight.''

Brown came in averaging 2 points a game and scored more than he had in his past 11 games combined. Brown had just five points in the Spartans' past 12 games but became a central figure against LSU.

''Gabe Brown - he might've had a career, and by career I mean the whole season,'' Izzo said.

Winston went toe-to-toe with Waters and finished with 17 points as one of four Michigan State players in double figures.

This is Michigan State's fifth Elite Eight appearance in the past 11 years and 10th under Izzo.

WHAT NOW, LSU?

The loss plunges LSU into uncertainty given the corruption scandal that left coach Will Wade suspended indefinitely for comments he reportedly made about his recruiting efforts on a phone call that was wiretapped as part of an FBI investigation. Wade, who had been replaced by interim coach Tony Benford, is expected to appear at a federal trial April 22.

It's unclear what ramifications the program will face. Freshman Javonte Smart, who was a surprise starter against Michigan State, is the player Wade was recorded as saying he'd ''take care of.'' Meanwhile, Reid and Waters are candidates to enter the NBA Draft.

''We don't know what's going on,'' Waters said. ''We're just going to keep doing what we've been doing, stay in the gym and pretty much talk to our families and see what the next step is.''

WARD INJURED

Michigan State big man Nick Ward said he expects to play Sunday after leaving in the second half with another left hand injury. Ward, who was playing with a brace on the hand after breaking it in February and missing five games, landed on it and said he was fine despite a deep bone bruise.

WINSTON MAKES HISTORY

With his fifth assist, Winston set a new Michigan State single-season record. He finished with eight. Mateen Cleaves set the previous record of 274 in 1998-99, the year before leading the school to a national title.

''Cassius is my Tom Brady in a way because they keep changing receivers running backs and this and that, and he still just keeps winning,'' Izzo said. ''Cassius has done this all year. He's the straw that stirs the drink.''

UP NEXT

Michigan State versus Duke on Sunday is their sixth NCAA Tournament meeting and first since 2015. Duke has won four of the previous five and now has Zion Williamson.

''I'm sure we just match up with Zion by himself,'' Izzo said. ''Maybe we'll play him 1 on 5.''

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Key Players
T. Waters
3 G
C. Winston
5 G
33.0 Min. Per Game 33.0
18.9 Pts. Per Game 18.9
7.5 Ast. Per Game 7.5
3.2 Reb. Per Game 3.2
43.0 Field Goal % 47.0
32.7 Three Point % 40.2
81.3 Free Throw % 84.0
  Defensive rebound by Kenny Goins 25.0
  Naz Reid missed 3-pt. jump shot 27.0
+ 2 Aaron Henry made jump shot, assist by Xavier Tillman 39.0
  Bad pass turnover on Javonte Smart 56.0
+ 2 Cassius Winston made driving layup 1:02
  Defensive rebound by Kenny Goins 1:21
  Tremont Waters missed 3-pt. jump shot 1:23
+ 1 Matt McQuaid made free throw 1:32
  Shooting foul on Kavell Bigby-Williams 1:32
+ 2 Matt McQuaid made layup, assist by Cassius Winston 1:32
  Defensive rebound by Kenny Goins 1:33
Team Stats
Points 63 80
Field Goals 24-61 (39.3%) 31-66 (47.0%)
3-Pointers 6-21 (28.6%) 13-32 (40.6%)
Free Throws 9-14 (64.3%) 5-8 (62.5%)
Total Rebounds 34 41
Offensive 10 12
Defensive 18 24
Team 6 5
Assists 8 22
Steals 4 4
Blocks 0 6
Turnovers 8 6
Fouls 11 10
Technicals 0 0
23 PTS, 1 REB, 2 AST
20 PTS, 8 REB, 6 AST
12T
away team logo 3 LSU 28-7 283563
home team logo 2 Michigan State 31-6 404080
Team Stats
away team logo 3 LSU 28-7 80.4 PPG 41.2 RPG 12.9 APG
home team logo 2 Michigan State 31-6 77.6 PPG 43.3 RPG 18.3 APG
Key Players
00
T. Waters G PPG RPG APG FG%
11
A. Henry F 6.1 PPG 3.8 RPG 1.6 APG 49.5 FG%
Top Scorers
T. Waters G 23 PTS 1 REB 2 AST
A. Henry F 20 PTS 8 REB 6 AST
39.3 FG% 47.0
28.6 3PT FG% 40.6
64.3 FT% 62.5
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
T. Waters 23 1 2 7/16 4/9 5/5 1 29 1 0 2 0 1
K. Bigby-Williams 11 5 0 4/10 0/0 3/5 2 20 0 0 1 4 1
N. Reid 10 9 0 5/14 0/5 0/2 3 37 0 0 0 3 6
S. Mays 7 3 2 3/8 1/3 0/0 1 36 2 0 2 0 3
J. Smart 0 0 2 0/6 0/2 0/0 1 25 0 0 1 0 0
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
T. Waters 23 1 2 7/16 4/9 5/5 1 29 1 0 2 0 1
K. Bigby-Williams 11 5 0 4/10 0/0 3/5 2 20 0 0 1 4 1
N. Reid 10 9 0 5/14 0/5 0/2 3 37 0 0 0 3 6
S. Mays 7 3 2 3/8 1/3 0/0 1 36 2 0 2 0 3
J. Smart 0 0 2 0/6 0/2 0/0 1 25 0 0 1 0 0
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
E. Williams 4 3 1 2/3 0/0 0/0 0 17 1 0 1 1 2
D. Days 4 3 1 1/2 1/2 1/2 2 15 0 0 0 1 2
M. Taylor 4 4 0 2/2 0/0 0/0 0 19 0 0 1 1 3
M. Graves 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0
W. Reese 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0
C. Cooper - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A. Hyatt - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 63 28 8 24/61 6/21 9/14 11 200 4 0 8 10 18
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
A. Henry 20 8 6 9/14 2/4 0/0 1 38 1 1 0 5 3
C. Winston 17 0 8 7/16 3/7 0/2 1 39 0 0 5 0 0
X. Tillman 12 8 3 4/7 1/2 3/3 2 31 0 2 0 3 5
K. Goins 6 11 4 2/10 2/8 0/0 3 33 2 0 0 2 9
M. McQuaid 6 1 1 2/6 1/5 1/1 3 26 1 0 1 1 0
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
A. Henry 20 8 6 9/14 2/4 0/0 1 38 1 1 0 5 3
C. Winston 17 0 8 7/16 3/7 0/2 1 39 0 0 5 0 0
X. Tillman 12 8 3 4/7 1/2 3/3 2 31 0 2 0 3 5
K. Goins 6 11 4 2/10 2/8 0/0 3 33 2 0 0 2 9
M. McQuaid 6 1 1 2/6 1/5 1/1 3 26 1 0 1 1 0
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
G. Brown 15 3 0 5/7 4/6 1/2 0 16 0 0 0 0 3
N. Ward 4 5 0 2/6 0/0 0/0 0 16 0 3 0 1 4
F. Loyer 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0
K. Ahrens - - - - - - - - - - - - -
C. George - - - - - - - - - - - - -
B. Burke - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Langford - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Hoiberg - - - - - - - - - - - - -
B. Washington - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Kithier - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Bingham Jr. - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 80 36 22 31/66 13/32 5/8 10 200 4 6 6 12 24