New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Markel Starks scored 16 points and Georgetown held off a sluggish Michigan State team to deliver a stunning 64-60 victory over the seventh-ranked Spartans at Madison Square Garden.
The Hoyas (12-9) entered the non-conference matchup mired in a five-game losing streak, but pulled off the upset behind a stout defensive effort that rendered the Spartans out of sync all throughout the afternoon.
Still without injured starters Adreian Payne and Branden Dawson, Michigan State (19-3) shot an off-target 39.6 percent from the field and committed 15 turnovers, while finishing a poor 9-of-16 from the free throw line.
D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera added 12 points and eight rebounds in Georgetown's first win since Jan. 11, with Mikael Hopkins contributing 10 points.
"They're a good team, I don't care what their record is," Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo said of Georgetown. "Give them credit, they played harder than us. They deserved to win, and we got what we deserved."
Gary Harris had 20 points for the Spartans despite being saddled with foul trouble for much of the game. Denzel Valentine recorded 11 points and seven rebounds in the loss, Michigan State's second in three outings after an 18-1 start to the season.
Michigan State's offensive woes were at their most pronounced during the early stages of the second half. The Spartans missed nine of their first 10 shots as Georgetown opened the period on an 11-2 run that turned a one-point halftime deficit into a 40-32 lead.
The Hoyas were still ahead by eight midway through the second half when Michigan State began to close the gap. Harris followed two made free throws from Valentine with a corner 3-pointer with 8:57 to go, pulling the Spartans within 44-41.
Another Harris trey, this one with 1:32 remaining, cut the margin to 56-54, but Jabril Trawick crashed the glass to tip in a Starks miss on the Hoyas' ensuing trip. Harris then threw the ball away on the subsequent possession, with Starks hitting 1-of-2 from the line to send Georgetown up by five with 47.5 seconds left.
The Hoyas sealed the outcome off another Spartans' giveaway, with Trawick throwing down a dunk after Hopkins' steal to make the score 63-55 with 26 seconds to play.
"Jabril and Nate (Lubick) were very, very good today," said Georgetown head coach John Thompson III. "Their presence out there was unbelievable down the end and Markel made plays. Big, big plays."
Michigan State owned a slim 30-29 edge at the end of a first half which saw sloppy play from both sides, with the teams combining for 19 turnovers over the initial 20 minutes.
Georgetown led 26-24 with two minutes to go in the opening frame following a 6-0 spurt in which Michigan State gave the ball away on three straight possessions. The Spartans countered with a 6-1 run, however, to regain the upper hand heading into the break.
Dawson missed his third straight game with a broken hand, while Payne sat out for a seventh consecutive contest due to a foot injury ... Michigan State entered the game 10-0 this season when either on the road or at a neutral site ... The schools had met only once previously, an 80-68 Spartans' win in the second round of the 1986 NCAA Tournament ... Michigan State fell to 2-10 all- time at Madison Square Garden.