Tyson Walker led a balanced effort with 16 points and No. 12 Michigan State held off Portland 78-77 in the fifth-place game of the Phil Knight Invitational on Sunday at Portland, Ore.
Pierre Brooks had 15 points, Joey Hauser supplied 14 points and seven rebounds and A.J. Hoggard added 12 points and nine assists for Michigan State (5-2).
Sign up to receive the daily top stories from the National Post, a division of Postmedia Network Inc.
Thanks for signing up!
A welcome email is on its way. If you don't see it, please check your junk folder.
The next issue of NP Posted will soon be in your inbox.
Tyler Robertson and Alden Applewhite led the Pilots (5-4) with 16 points apiece. Kristian Sjolund added 15 points for Portland, which scored the last eight points.
Walker’s basket in the lane gave the Spartans a 78-69 lead. The Pilots then erupted for eight unanswered points in the next 35 seconds, with two Michigan State turnovers resulting in back-to-back 3s by Sjolund.
Brooks missed a contested shot and Robertson grabbed the rebound. After a timeout, Robertson missed from close range, allowing the Spartans to hang on.
Portland led 42-34 at the break. Sjolund led the Pilots with nine points while Hauser topped the Spartans with 12.
Sjolund made a 3-pointer to ignite an 11-4 Portland spurt to finish the half.
Robertson opened the second half with a layup but the Spartans answered with a 15-2 run sparked by Brooks’ 3-pointer.
Walker also dropped in a 3-pointer during the span and Mady Sissoko had a de facto five-point play. He made a dunk and was knocked to the floor by Joey St. Pierre. Sissoko completed the three-point play and made two technical foul free throws. Michigan State also retained possession, and Hoggard made a layup to give his team a 49-46 lead.
Brooks hit a 3-pointer with 11:51 left to give his club a 59-55 edge. Brooks then set up Carson Cooper for a dunk.
Tre Holloman’s basket with six minutes to go gave the Spartans an eight-point lead.
Hauser made two free throws to provide Michigan State with its first double-digit advantage. Back-to-back field goals from Hoggard made it 76-64 with four minutes left.
–Field Level Media
Check out our sports section for the latest news and analysis. Care for a wager? Head to our sports betting section for news and odds.