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Michigan State survives a late push from Portland to win, 78-77

MSU went 2-1 in the Phil Knight Invitational to take fifth place.

NCAA Basketball: Phil Knight Invitational-Alabama at Michigan State Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan State men’s basketball capped off the Phil Knight Invitational with a 78-77 win against Portland. The Spartans finished their trip out west with a 2-1 record with wins against Oregon and Portland, and a loss to Alabama, taking fifth place in the tournament.

Five Michigan State players scored in double-digits: sophomore guard Pierre Brooks (15), senior guard Tyson Walker (16), graduate forward Joey Hauser (14), junior guard A.J. Hoggard (12) and junior center Mady Sissoko (11). Brooks shot well from three-point land as he made all four of his attempts.

As for Portland, redshirt freshman Alden Applewhite and junior Tyler Robertson led the Pilots with 16 points apiece.

The Spartans shot 53 percent from the field compared to 43 percent by Portland. Michigan State had eight turnovers in the game, while the Pilots only had five. The Spartans also out-rebounded Portland, 35-26.

Both teams shot well to start the game. Michigan State shot 66.7 percent from three-point land in the first half. Hauser and Brooks both went 2-for-2 from deep in the opening half.

It was a back-and-forth game early in the first half. Michigan State had a 17-14 lead heading into the first media timeout. The Spartans extended their lead coming out of the timeout.

Walker made a pull-up jump shot and freshman center Carson Cooper slammed home a dunk to give Michigan State a 21-14 lead. That was the biggest lead of the half for the Spartans.

Portland then went on a 28-13 run to end the half. Michigan State turned the ball over three times in the first half, which led to five points off turnovers for Portland.

The Pilots had a 42-34 lead heading into the locker room.

Michigan State started the second half strong. The Spartans had a 12-0 run within the first three minutes of the second half.

The Spartans didn’t look back after they took the lead as they extended their lead all the way to 76-64 with 3:52 to play.

However, the Pilots marched back late in the game. With the help of some Michigan State turnovers, Portland ended the game on a 13-2 run.

Portland had a chance to win the game with the last possession, but Michigan State’s defense held strong and stopped the Pilots to seal the one-point victory.

The Spartans improve to 5-2 on the young 2022-2023 season with the 78-77 victory over the Pilots. Michigan State will take on Notre Dame in its next game on Wednesday, Nov. 30. The game will be in South Bend, Indiana and it is set to tip off at 9:15 p.m. ET on ESPN2.