Lehigh vs Michigan State

No. 19 Michigan St. 90, Lehigh 81

CBSSports.com wire reports

EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Tom Izzo set three goals for Michigan State against Lehigh, saw his team meet all three and still had a scare.

It took a second-half surge, improved free three throw shooting and dominant rebounding for the 19th-ranked Spartans (11-2) to claim their 11th straight win, 90-81 over the Mountain Hawks.

"I told our team the other day that they were pretty good," Izzo said of the Lehigh (9-4), which had won nine of its previous 10. "They were a little better than I thought."

Keith Appling scored 19 points, including all 12 of his free throws, and had seven rebounds for Michigan State. He was 3 for 13 from the field but made up for that in other ways.

So did Draymond Green, who added 16 points and 10 rebounds for his seventh double-double this season. The three-year captain was seven minutes late for a morning meeting and didn't start the game. But despite a 5-for-17 performance from the field, he made an impact with a career-high six blocks.

"One thing we said is we want to improve every night," Green said. "It may not have looked like we improved tonight, but this is one of those games where it was probably our first ugly win. The entire win was just ugly."

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Branden Dawson had 14 points and eight rebounds, while surprise starter Austin Thornton added 11 points and seven boards.

"It's kind of how I've played here," Thornton said. "My job is to bring the energy. That's just how I always have been. ... I'm just glad we got the win."

Holden Greiner had 24 points for Lehigh. C.J. McCollum added 19 points and Mackey McKnight and Gabe Knutson had 14 each.

"I'm proud of the fight we put forward," Mountain Hawks coach Brett Reed said. "I thought we played together. I thought we hustled. And we tried to make the right plays. ... In order to win this game, we would've had to play near-perfect."

Lehigh shot 42.4 percent from the field to Michigan State's 40.3, but the Spartans -- last in the Big Ten in free throw percentage -- hit 82.1 percent at the line and had a 50-31 edge on the boards.

"We knew we weren't an awful free throw shooting team," Green said. "We had nights where the focus level probably wasn't there. But we definitely focused hard these last couple days in practice."

The Mountain Hawks trailed 11-5 before an 11-0 run gave them a five-point lead. Greiner, a Michigan native, scored nine of those points, including a pair of 3s.

"It was always a dream of mine to play for Coach Izzo or play against him," Greiner said. "I got to play against him, and I had a great time. It was a dream come true. I just kind of made open shots, and that's what I wanted to do."

The Spartans drew even a few minutes later, and the lead went back and forth the rest of the half. Michigan State finished with five straight free throws for a 35-33 edge, only to go three down in a hurry.

With a foul to give, freshman Brandan Kearney fouled McCollum well away from the basket with four seconds left. But a vigorously disputed continuation call by official Tom O'Neill gave McCollum the basket and three free throws, including two for a technical foul on Izzo.

Lehigh outscored Michigan State 15-0 from beyond the arc in the first 20 minutes, going 5 for 12 while the Spartans were 0 for 2. That more than negated the hosts' 26-14 rebound advantage.

Michigan State quickly tied the game in the second half, then took a 45-41 lead on free throws by Thornton and Green, the first two coming after a technical on Reed.

When Thornton hit the Spartans' first 3 of the night with 13:10 left, the lead swelled and Travis Trice made it a seven-point game from deep a minute later. After a steal, Trice fired a long pass to Brandon Wood for a layup and a nine-point cushion.

A three-point play by Dawson made it a 13-point game and ended any thought of an upset. But Michigan State was left with plenty to work on before unbeaten Indiana visits Breslin Center next Wednesday in its conference opener.

Lehigh also returns to action next Wednesday with a game at St. Peter's.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
Lehigh (9-4)384381
Michigan State #19 (11-2) «355590
LEH:H. Greiner 24 Pts
LEH:C. McCollum 8 Reb
LEH:C. McCollum 5 Ast
MIST:K. Appling 19 Pts
MIST:D. Green 10 Reb
MIST:T. Trice 5 Ast

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LehighMichigan State
Holden Greiner
Draymond Green
Lehigh Mountain Hawks
H. Greiner, F388-124-741224
M. McKnight, G363-86-954414
C. McCollum, G326-185-585319
G. Knutson, F264-86-741414
C. Baltimore, F40-10-03000
J. Hamilton, F150-30-00040
J. Adams, F121-30-02052
A. D'Orazio, G121-10-01022
C. Schaefer, G101-12-21004
J. Maneri, F-C90-10-00040
S. Cvrkalj, G51-30-01012
K. McCarthy, CDid Not Play
C. Goodman, GDid Not Play
T. Staggers, FDid Not Play
Totals 25-5923-3029112981
Michigan State Spartans
K. Appling, G373-1312-1274319
B. Wood, G264-90-12128
B. Dawson, F236-112-381014
A. Thornton, G222-36-870111
A. Payne, C172-33-45157
D. Green, F325-175-6103516
T. Trice, G171-33-44526
D. Nix, C163-60-02126
A. Gauna, F71-21-13013
B. Kearney, G30-00-00010
A. Ianni, CDid Not Play
R. Byrd, GDid Not Play
D. Chapman, GDid Not Play
K. Wetzel, GDid Not Play
J. Sweeny, GDid Not Play
C. Wollenman, FDid Not Play
Totals 27-6732-3948162290
Patriot League
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Boston U.12-618-14187
Holy Cross9-915-17208
Army West Point6-1213-19267

Big Ten
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Michigan St.10-820-1550
Ohio St.7-1117-1590
Penn St.6-1215-18101
Other games
LOYM 63 Final
Kentucky 87
Md-BC 47 Final
Indiana 89
BRAD 66 Final
Michigan 77
FAIR 71 Final
UConn 79
Tulane 61 Final
Syracuse 80
Florida St 64 Final
Florida 82
Memphis 59 Final
NWST 67 Final
Miss St 82
Nwstern 79 Final
UMOH 40 Final
Ohio St 69
Wisc-Mil 50 Final
MU 64
Illinois 74 Final
Missouri 78
STMA 59 Final
Baylor 72
Kansas 63 Final
USC 47
LB St 68 Final
XAV 58