MSU fends of SLU, advances to Sweet 16

(AP) With Michigan State’s season in peril, Draymond Green turned to Keith Appling during a timeout and told him to be ready. His moment was near. And when it arrived, Appling delivered. His shot, the one Green urged him to take, helped save the Spartans. Appling’s critical 3-pointer with 1:34 left, a 20-foot jumper set up by Green’s pass, gave Michigan State a 65-61 win Sunday over Saint Louis and thrust the top-seeded Spartans into the round of 16. Read the full AP recap, check out the box score, and see the tweets about Green’s great game.

Read our half-by-half recap powered by Narrative Science:

Final: Draymond Green scored 16, grabbed 14 rebounds and handed out six assists to help No. 4 Michigan State past Saint Louis 65-61 on Sunday at Nationwide Arena in Columbus in the third round of the NCAA Tournament. Saint Louis (26-8) struggled from the field, shooting 35 percent (18-of-51) and hitting free throws at a 78 percent clip (18-of-23). Michigan State (29-7) built a 11-point advantage on a field goal by Keith Appling in the middle of the second half, but nearly blew it. The Spartans, who hit 54 percent of their field goals (25-of-46). received 19 points from Keith Appling and 10 points from Derrick Nix and Brandon Wood. Kwamain Mitchell led Saint Louis with 13 points. The victory extends Michigan State’s winning streak to five games.

Halftime: Draymond Green has five points to lead No. 4 Michigan State to a 26-21 lead over Saint Louis at the end of the first half. The Spartans trailed 15-11 when they broke out for an 11-0 run to overtake the Billikens and seize a seven-point lead. Michigan State demonstrated its offensive efficiency by racking up eight assists on 12 baskets. The Spartans were able to put the clamps on Saint Louis’ leading scorer, Brian Conklin, who has three points. Saint Louis’ Jordair Jett has five points and five rebounds.

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