November 28, 2018 / 3:54 AM / in 4 months

No. 9 Michigan State falls to host Louisville

Junior guard Ryan McMahon scored 24 points off the bench as host Louisville held off a late rally by No. 9 Michigan State to win 82-78 in overtime on Tuesday.

Jordan Nwora scored 14 for Louisville (4-2), while Dwayne Sutton and Christen Cunningham added 13 points each.

Michigan State trailed much of the game, and when Cassius Winston fouled out with 4:01 to play in regulation, it looked like a comeback wasn’t happening. Instead, the Spartans regained the lead and had multiple chances to put the game away in the final minute.

Instead, they missed the front end of a one-and-one twice and committed a crucial turnover, sending what looked like a huge road win to overtime.

Michigan State (5-2) had five players score in double figures while Kenny Goins grabbed a career-high 17 rebounds. Kyle Ahrens and Joshua Langford each had 15 points — a career-high for Ahrens — while Nick Ward scored 14, Winston had 13 and Xavier Tillman added 11 points and 13 rebounds off the bench.

Michigan State made several pushes in the second half, but each time the Spartans got close, the Cardinals responded.

After the Spartans trimmed the lead to four early in the half, Louisville hit two straight 3-pointers in a run that extended the lead to 10. And after Michigan State pulled within 53-52 with 8:49 to play, Louisville answered by pushing the lead back to 58-52.

The Spartans got back within one before the Cardinals got three free throws from McMahon. But a triple from Langford and a mid-range jumper from the junior guard gave Michigan State the 62-61 lead, its first since 8-7.

A McMahon three put Louisville back up two, but Langford hit another jumper to even the score at 64 with 2:32 to play.

Freshman Foster Loyer, in for Winston, then hit a running jumper with 1:43 to play to give Michigan State a 66-64 lead. McMahon answered with a pair of free throws to tie the game with 1:19 left.

Ward split a pair of free throws with 1:09 left to give Michigan State a one-point lead, and the Spartans got a stop at the defensive end. But Loyer missed the front end of a one-and-one and Cunningham split a pair at the other end to tie the game at 67 with 14 seconds left.

Goins grabbed the rebound off Cunningham’s miss and was fouled, but he, too, missed the front end and Louisville couldn’t get a decent shot off, sending the game to overtime.

It was back and forth in the extra session until Louisville got the advantage late on a 3-pointer from Nwora with 2:09 left. The Cardinals added a free throw 30 seconds later to push the lead to three with 1:27 to play.

Langford’s 3-pointer then came up short and Louisville put the game away at the free-throw line despite a late triple from Spartans freshman Gabe Brown.

—Field Level Media

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