AUBURN HILLS, Mich. – Kalin Lucas scored 25 points to help No. 7 Michigan State hold off Oakland 77-76 Saturday.
Lucas made a 3-pointer and a jumper late in the game to prevent the Golden Grizzlies from getting closer than two points until Reggie Hamilton made a 3-pointer with 0.4 of a second left.
The Spartans (7-3) had dropped three of their last six games, to Connecticut, Duke and Syracuse. They're the only team in The Associated Press poll that has played a road game against a ranked team.
The Keith Benson-led Golden Grizzlies (5-5) aren't in the poll, but they gave Michigan State all it could handle.
Benson had 17 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks, impressing the NBA scouts at the game.
Larry Wright scored 21 for the Summit League defending champions and preseason favorite.
Oakland got off to a good start, taking early leads, and trailed by just four points at halftime.
The school located in Rochester, Mich. — near the Detroit Pistons' arena where the game was played — quickly tied the game in the second half with Benson's hook shot and Wright's shot in the lane.
Michigan State seemed to take control midway through the second half with a 10-0 run that put it ahead 49-39, but the Golden Grizzlies clawed their way back into the game and refused to let the Spartans coast to a victory.
Lucas made a 3-pointer with just under 4 minutes left after Oakland pulled within two and another jumper to put Michigan State ahead 69-65.
Oakland's Will Hudson made back-to-back shots to make it 73-70 with 23.2 seconds left.
Michigan State could've sealed the win with free throws and by avoiding turnovers, but it missed some shots at the line and turned the ball over with 32.9 seconds left.
Lucas led the way for the Spartans, but he got some help. Freshman Keith Appling, making his first start, and Durrell Summers each scored 11 points. Draymond Green, who started in place of Delvon Roe, had 11 points, five assists and five rebounds.
The Spartans did a much better job of making free throws, 21 of 28, and taking care of the ball, turning it over just eight times.
Oakland, which was very competitive at No. 16 Illinois in its previous game, will likely lament its wasted opportunities at the line, making just 11 of 20 free throws.
Drew Valentine scored 11 for the Golden Grizzlies, who got 10 points apiece from Hudson and Reggie Hamilton.