In a game that featured point runs and defense, Michigan State battled their way into the Sweet 16 with a 70-48 win over Memphis. With the game tied at 6 early in the first half, the Michigan State Spartans went on a 21 to 11 run, giving them a 27-17 lead with 6:16 left. Memphis answered with a 12 to 4 run, pulling them within a 32-28 halftime deficit.
Michigan State started fast in the second half with Derrick Nix, Adreian Payne, and Gary Harris taking over. With ten minutes left, the Michigan State Spartans opened up a ten point lead. the Michigan State lead increased to 15 whith eight minutes left in the game as Payne scored his 14 point of the game.
Spartans point guard Keith Appling went to the locker room with just over seven minutes remaining with a right shoulder sprain, forcing coach Tom Izzo to send guard Gary Harris back into the game with four fouls. Appling returned to the bench with four and a half minutes left but did not play.
As Michigan State increased their second half lead, Nix and Payne took over in the paint and Harris shot at will from all over the floor. Izzo’s dynamic squad closed the game strong with for a 70-48 victory. Harris led all scorers with 22 points.
The Spartans next face the winner of tomorrows matchup between #2 seed Duke and #7 seed Creighton.