Shay Colley’s layup with 7.6 seconds remaining Saturday lifted No. 9 Michigan State to an 88-87 win over No. 8 Central Michigan at Purcell Pavilion in South Bend, Ind.
Presley Hudson gave the Chippewas an 87-86 lead with a 3-pointer with 20.3 seconds remaining. Central Michigan senior forward Reyna Frost led all scorers with 34 points.
It was the first meeting since 2005 between two teams, which are located 68 miles apart.
Michigan State (26-7) advances to Monday’s second round to play Notre Dame. The top seed in the Chicago region, Notre Dame opened first-round play earlier Saturday with a 92-50 victory over No. 16 Bethune-Cookman.
Down by as many as 11 early in the second half, Central Michigan (21-11) took a 75-74 lead with 5:23 remaining following a wing 3-pointer from Hudson. It was Central Michigan’s first lead since 15 seconds into the game. That late lead lasted less than a minute after guard Nia Clouden drove in for a layup and an MSU lead with 5:05 left.
Frost responded with a 3-pointer that made it a two-point Chippewa lead.
The final 3:47 featured five ties and five lead changes.
A fast-paced first half featured 83 combined points.
Coming into the contest averaging a team-high 21.8 points per game, Frost scored 25 in the opening half. The 2019 Mid-American Conference player of the year was on from everywhere. She had her average barely halfway through the second quarter.
Central Michigan shot 56.3 percent from the field and registered 26 points in the paint, but Michigan State held the lead for much of a first half that featured only one tie and three lead changes.
Central Michigan entered the postseason as winners of nine straight. Michigan State had lost four of its last seven.
—Field Level Media