MSU weathers the storm, moves on to Elite 8

MSU weathers the storm, moves on to Elite 8

Branden Dawson and Adreian Payne have huge performances and Spartans escape Virginia on Friday night.

Adreian Payne and Branden Dawson were huge in each of Michigan State's first two NCAA Tournament games, but Friday, it took both of them to prevail.

Payne had 16 points and Dawson had 24 points and 10 rebounds as the Spartans fought through a tough Virginia defense to win 61-59 and move to the Elite 8.

Payne had seven of Michigan State's first 10 points then Dawson had eight in a row, but the Spartans went cold from there.

As the Spartans went without a field goal for 6:27, Virginia went on a 12-0 run and took a 25-23 lead.

Virginia went on a 12-0 run and the Spartans went without a field goal for 6:27 as Virginia took a 25-23 lead.

Gary Harris broke the team's scoring drought – and his – with a driving and-one to give MSU the lead back 26-25.

The basket sparked an 8-2 run to close out the first half and lead 31-27.

Dawson had 11 first-half points and five rebounds and he carried it over to the second half, having MSU's first five points of the half.

But the Spartans continue to trail by a basket or two for much of the half, until a 7-0 run keyed by a Payne dunk, a Dawson layup and a Travis Trice 3-pointer put MSU ahead 43-40.

The 7-0 run became a 13-2 run as Michigan State opened it up to 49-42.

Virginia came back to tie it on a 7-0 run, capped by a 3-pointer from Justin Anderson, at 51-51.

Payne hit a 3 to put MSU up 54-51 and followed it with an alley-oop to Dawson.

Virginia's Joe Harris came back with a 3 that rolled around the rim three times before going down to make it 56-54.

Payne hit a pair of free throws, then Virginia point guard London Perrantes hit a pair to make it 58-56. Trice followed with a pair of free throws with 8.6 seconds left.

Virginia's Malcolm Brogdon hit a 3-pointer with 1.4 seconds left.

A foul before the final inbound play put Gary Harris at the line, where he iced the game the first free throw and missed the second intentionally and Anderson's full-court heave fell short.

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