MSU Edged by Maryland in Coaches vs. Cancer Final
 
 
 
Drew Neitzel drives past Maryland's D.J. Strawberry during the second half. (AP photo)
 
Drew Neitzel drives past Maryland's D.J. Strawberry during the second half. (AP photo)
 
 

Nov. 18, 2006

Box Score

NEW YORK (AP) - Michigan State coach Tom Izzo just wanted someone to take a second look at what he - and most of Madison Square Garden - thought was a shot-clock violation.

He was told a play like that can't be reviewed by replay, so Maryland was able to close out a hectic final seconds in a 62-60 victory on the championship game of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic on Friday night.

"I was disappointed there was no replay. They said it was not replayable so what the hell's the replay for if you're down to the final seconds of a game?" Izzo said.

Michigan State (4-1) used a 6-2 run to get within 62-59 with 1:21 to play. Each team turned the ball over and Maryland (5-0) called a timeout with 12 seconds to play and 4 seconds left on the shot clock.

The Terrapins inbounded the ball near midcourt and freshman guard Eric Hayes was forced to let go a long 3-point attempt as the clock ran out. It appeared the ball missed the rim, which would have been a violation, but Michigan State's Idong Ibok grabbed the rebound.

He turned with the ball with his arms raised and was called for an offensive foul.

Maryland's D.J. Strawberry, selected the tournament's MVP, missed two free throws with 4.5 seconds left.

Michigan State's Drew Neitzel was fouled with .2 seconds left before he could get a shot attempt off. He made the first free throw and missed the second on purpose but the Spartans couldn't get off a clean tip.

"That's what I thought," Neitzel said when asked if Hayes' shot had missed the rim. "I was guarding him 35 feet from the basket and didn't have a great angle but I thought it should have been a violation. That's the way it goes sometimes."

Strawberry scored 17 points for Maryland, which shot 55 percent from the field but scored just two points over the final 3 1/2 minutes.

 

 

"He is our guy," Maryland coach Gary Williams said of Strawberry. "You almost have to drag him off the court to get him out of there. He has really gotten better. He has worked hard on his game. He is one of the better leaders I've had in a while."

Neitzel, whose driving layup with 2.4 seconds left gave Michigan State a 63-61 victory over No. 19 Texas in the semifinals, finished with 20 points, 16 in the second half.

"I just wanted to come out more aggressive in the second half and try to keep us in the game," Neitzel said.

Maryland shot 62 percent in the first half (13-for-21) before cooling off a bit in the second half to finish 23-for-42.

Neitzel hit a 3 with 5:19 left to get the Spartans within 52-51, but Mike Jones and Greivis Vasquez each hit a 3 in an 8-2 run that put the Terrapins up 60-53 with 3:42 left. James Gist, who had 14 points, capped that run with a dunk with 3:42 left, Maryland's last field goal of the game.

Maryland, which crushed St. John's 92-60 in its semifinal, forced Michigan State into 18 turnovers, three off its average for the first four games of the season.

"This isn't just any tournament. This is a great tournament," Williams said. "Three of the last five years the champion in the country played in this tournament. It is just a tremendous thing. There were just great games here."

The tournament is sponsored by 2K Sports.