March 18, 2018 / 9:56 PM / 9 months ago

Syracuse stifles Michigan State to reach Sweet 16

EditorsNote: fixes “Orange” in second and eighth grafs

Tyus Battle scored 17 points and 11th-seeded Syracuse upset cold-shooting Michigan State 55-53 in the second round of the Midwest Region on Sunday afternoon at Detroit’s Little Caesars Arena.

The Orange (23-13), who received the last at-large bid, won for the third time in five days. They advanced to the Sweet 16, where they will face No. 2 seed and ACC rival Duke on Friday in Omaha, Neb.

Oshae Brissett had 15 points and Frank Howard scored 13 before fouling out for Syracuse.

Michigan State, the No. 3 seed, missed its last 13 shots. The Spartans (30-5) made just 25.8 percent of their field-goal attempts as their frustration mounted against Syracuse’s zone.

Cassius Winston led Michigan State with 15 points and six assists. Miles Bridges added 11 points but shot 4-for-18 from the field after scoring 29 points against Bucknell in the opening round.

Bridges’ second 3-pointer of the game gave Michigan State a 33-27 advantage early in the second half. He made another one at the 15:34 mark to maintain the six-point lead.

Battle’s three-point play pulled Syracuse within two, but Howard fouled out with 6:39 remaining. Syracuse hung tough despite that loss, going on a 7-0 run.

Marek Dolezaj gave the Orange a 49-48 lead with 4:23 left on two free throws. Bourama Sidibe split a pair of free throws 15 seconds later to nudge the lead to two points. Xavier Tillman ended Michigan State’s scoring drought by doing the same with 2:04 left.

Battle’s midrange jumper with 49 seconds left gave Syracuse a 52-49 lead. The Spartans got off four more shots, including two 3-point attempts, but came up empty.

A Syracuse turnover with 7.8 seconds left provided Michigan State with one more chance. Matt McQuaid was quickly fouled after the ball was inbounded and made both free throws.

Battle was fouled with 6.1 seconds left and hit both free throws. Winston was fouled with 3.7 seconds and knocked down both foul shots.

Syracuse’s Paschal Chukwu was then fouled and made the first of two free throws, and Winston’s desperation shot was late and bounced off the backboard anyway.

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