No. 11 Spartans Hold Off Penn State 67-65
March 4, 2010
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EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- Raymar Morgan and Kalin Lucas made key free throws late to help No. 11 Michigan State pull out a 67-65 victory over Penn State on Thursday night, keeping the Spartans in the hunt for a share of the Big Ten title.
Morgan, who finished with 16 points, hit two free throws with 12 seconds left to give Michigan State (23-7, 13-4) a 66-62 lead.
Chris Babb hit a 3-pointer for Penn State (11-18, 3-14) to cut the lead to 66-65. Lucas made one of two foul shots for a 67-65 lead with 5 seconds remaining.
Penn State's Talor Battle couldn't get a shot off before the buzzer.
Battle and Babb led Penn State with 16 points each.
The Spartans can earn a share of the title for the second consecutive season with a victory against Michigan on Sunday. No. 6 Ohio State already has clinched a share of the championship, and No. 7 Purdue can share it with a victory over Penn State on Saturday.
Penn State refused to fold despite trailing by 10 points midway through the second half. The Nittany Lions took a 62-60 lead with 2:32 remaining on two free throws by Babb.
A dunk by Michigan State's Draymond Green, who finished with 14 points, tied the game at 62. Morgan hit two free throws with 1:24 left to give Michigan State a 64-62 lead.
Michigan State had lost its previous two home games to Purdue and Ohio State, in large part because of sluggish starts. The Spartans avoided a rare three-game skid at Breslin Center by surviving against the Nittany Lions.
Penn State had won three of its last four Big Ten games after losing 12 straight to start the conference season. The Nittany Lions have improved with Battle helping to get other players involved in the scoring.
Depth was a huge advantage for Michigan State as the Spartans bench outscored Penn State's 26-1.
Michigan State outrebounded Penn State 39-26.
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