No. 3 Michigan State Falls to No. 11 Syracuse in NCAA Second Round, 55-53
DETROIT -- Third-seeded Michigan State fell to No. 11 seed Syracuse, 55-53, in the second round of the NCAA Tournament at Little Caesars Arena Sunday afternoon.
Cassius Winston scored 15 points to lead MSU, but the Spartans couldn't overcome their 26-percent shooting from the field as the Orange didn't allow a made basket in the final 5:41 of the game. Syracuse closed the game on a 12-5 run to advance to the Sweet 16.
Michigan State finishes the season with the fourth-most wins in school history at 30-5, while Syracuse improves to 23-13.
Winston's floating jumper to beat the shot clock with 5:41 left in the game put the Spartans on top, 48-43, but it was the last field goal of the game for MSU. The Orange went on a 7-0 run to reclaim the lead, 50-48, with 4:05 remaining.
Xavier Tillman made one of two free throws to trim the Syracuse lead to 50-49 with 2:03 left in the game, but the Orange would not relinquish the lead the rest of the way. Tyus Battle's jumper with 47 seconds remaining made it 52-49 Syracuse.
Matt McQuaid connected on two free throws with just seven seconds left, but Battle made both of his free throws at the other end with 6.1 seconds remaining to push the Orange lead back to three at 54-51. Syracuse then fouled Winston, who made his two attempts from the charity stripe, cutting the margin to 54-53 with three seconds left.
SU's Paschal Chukwu made his first free throw with 2.4 seconds remaining but missed his second, giving MSU a last opportunity, but Winston's half-court shot didn't fall for the Spartans.
Michigan State led for most of the game (28:32 minutes), but Marek Dolezaj's two free throws at the 4:22 mark to make it 49-48 in favor of Syracuse put the Orange on top for good.
Bridges drained his third 3-pointer of the game to give MSU a 38-32 advantage with 15:33 left, but the Spartans were held scoreless over the next four minutes as the Orange trimmed the deficit to one, 38-37.
Ward snapped MSU's four-minute drought with a layup at the 11:39 mark, and a Tillman put back and Bridges one-handed slam with 7:28 left forced Syracuse to call a timeout as MSU took a 44-39 lead.
The first half was a back-and-forth affair, as neither team led by more than five points. Michigan State started out with a 7-2 lead in the first 3:16 of the game, but Syracuse answered with an 8-0 run over the next 4:37 to go up, 10-7, with 12:07 left in the half.
MSU was held without a field goal from the 16:44 mark until the 10:13 mark, as Winston halted MSU's field-goal drought with a 3-pointer to put MSU back on top, 12-10.
Keyed by two 3-pointers from Winston and a dunk by Ward, the Spartans went on a 10-4 run over a nearly six-minute stretch (11:45 mark to 5:47) to take a 17-14 lead with 5:47 left in the first half.
Michigan State took a 25-22 lead into halftime as McQuaid hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer.
Although the Spartans shot just 29 percent (8-of-28) from the field in the first half, MSU did hit five 3-pointers (5-of-19) in the first 20 minutes.
MSU out-rebounded the Orange, 24-12, in the first half, including a 12-1 advantage on the offensive end.
The Spartans were held to just 26 percent shooting from the field (17-of-66) and 22 percent from 3-point range (8-of-37), both season lows. The 37 3-point attempts were the most by the Spartans in a single game in school history (previous: 35 vs. Virginia Tech on Nov. 22, 2013).
MSU out-rebounded Syracuse by 21, 51-30, including a 29-7 advantage on the offensive end. The Spartans also held a distinctive margin in second-chance points, 21-5.
MSU held Syracuse to 36 percent shooting (15-of-42) and just 1-of-8 from 3-point range (13 percent). Syracuse was 24-of-31 (77 percent) from the free-throw line compared to 11-of-16 (69 percent) for the Spartans.
Miles Bridges scored 11 points, giving him 1,055 for his career, which moves him into 46th all-time at Michigan State. He passed Marcus Sanders (1,054) on Sunday. Bridges scored in double figures for the 30th time this season and made three 3-pointers for the fourth consecutive game.
Cassius Winston had six assists to finish with 241 on the season, which is the fourth-best single season total in MSU history.
Xavier Tillman recorded a career-high 12 rebounds, including nine offensive boards.