Top seed Michigan State outlasts St. Louis
Draymond Green scored 11 of his 16 points in the second half, taking over down the stretch to help top-seeded Michigan State hold off stubborn Saint Louis 65-61 in NCAA tournament third-round action in Columbus, Ohio. The Spartans (29-7) will face No. 4-seeded Louisville in a West Regional semifinal Thursday in Phoenix. Down by as many as 11 points with 11:42 remaining, the ninth-seeded Billikens (26-8) fought back to cut the deficit to two, 53-51, on a Kwamain Mitchell layup at the 3:19 mark. Green, however, responded with a jumper late in the shot clock on Michigan State’s next trip and then fed Keith Appling for a back-breaking 3-pointer, stretching the Spartans’ lead back to seven with 1:34 on the clock. Saint Louis got within three one last time on a 3-pointer by Mike McCall with 8.5 seconds left, but Michigan State was able to ice it with an Austin Thornton free throw. Green, who posted a triple-double in Friday’s second-round win over LIU-Brooklyn, finished with 12 rebounds and six assists Sunday. Appling added 15 points for the Spartans. Mitchell and Brian Conklin paced the Billikens with 11 points apiece.