Tyson Walker scored 22 points, A.J. Hoggard added 13 points and 10 assists and Joey Hauser contributed 13 points as Michigan State defeated Villanova 73-71 Friday in East Lansing, Mich.
Malik Hall contributed 12 for the Spartans (3-1), who followed their 86-77 double overtime victory over No. 4 Kentucky with an impressive showing against the Wildcats.
Eric Dixon led Villanova (2-2) with 24 points and nine rebounds while Brandon Slater scored 16 points. Caleb Daniels had 13 points.
The Wildcats struggled from the perimeter, going 8-of-29 from 3-point territory.
Villanova continued to play without key injured players Justin Moore (Achilles) and Cam Whitmore (right thumb).
When Dixon dropped in a 3-pointer, Villanova led 14-11 with 9:37 remaining in the first half.
But the Spartans proceeded on an 18-6 run to go ahead 29-20 with 3:40 left. Walker then drove to the basket and scored for an 11-point lead.
Dixon came back with a difficult basket in the low post.
Walker responded with a deep 3-pointer and Michigan State went ahead 34-22 with 58 seconds to go.
The Spartans led 34-24 at halftime thanks in large part to Hauser’s 10 points.
Dixon guided the Wildcats with 12 in the first half.
Chris Arcidiacono knocked down a 3-pointer and Dixon scored in the paint as Villanova closed within 42-36 with 14:22 remaining. But the Spartans scored the next five points, a trey by Pierre Brooks and a dunk by Jaden Akins, for an 11-point advantage.
Walker made another jumper to extend the Spartans’ lead to 59-43 with 9:02 left.
Villanova made it 61-51 when Daniels hit a layup with 6:43 remaining.
Slater stayed aggressive and converted a three-point play, Daniels added a 3-pointer and Villanova closed within 65-61 with 2:54 left.
Walker hit a trey and the Spartans regained a seven-point advantage.
Jordan Longino knocked down a trey with 49.0 seconds left to close within 72-71.
Walker hit 1-of-2 free throws with 16.9 seconds left for a 73-71 lead.
Dixon missed a potential game-winning 3-pointer in the final few seconds.
–Field Level Media