Green's triple-double leads MSU past Long Island
Columbus, OH (Sports Network) - Draymond Green recorded a triple-double and top-seeded Michigan State cruised past Long Island, 89-67, in Friday's second round West Regional matchup.
Green had game-highs of 24 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists for the Spartans (28-7), who are making their 15th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance. They will take on Saint Louis in the third round on Sunday.
Derrick Nix added 18 points and eight rebounds in the win while Adreian Payne scored 16 and Keith Appling finished with 10.
Jamal Olasewere scored 17 points to pace the 16th-seeded Blackbirds (25-9). They captured their second straight Northeast Conference Tournament title to earn a bid, but fell to 0-5 in the NCAA tourney with Friday's loss.
"Our guys really played their hearts out tonight. It was a very tough, physical basketball game," said Blackbirds coach Jim Ferry. "In the second half I just felt at times they kind of overwhelmed us with their size."
Long Island was competitive in the first half, utilizing a deft perimeter touch to stay close. While Michigan State missed all five three-point attempts in the opening 20 minutes, the Blackbirds made 5-of-8 shots from beyond the arc. Still, Green buoyed the Spartans with nine points, seven boards and three assists and had his team up 42-37 at the break.
He carried the momentum into the second half, opening with a layup and scoring six points as part of a 10-4 run which pushed the margin to double-digits, 52-42, less than four minutes in.
The lead was still 10 when Nix made back-to-back layups and Brandon Wood followed with a bucket in close to make it 66-50 and trigger a Long Island timeout.
The stoppage did nothing to slow Michigan State. The advantage continued to grow, reaching 20, 74-54, when Green found Wood for a corner three with eight minutes to play.
The Blackbirds didn't threaten the rest of the way.
"They came out pretty hot, but in the second half we just wanted to close out a little harder. We tried to make them put it on the floor and it worked for us and we were able to come out with the win," said Appling.
The Spartans are the Tournament's No. 1 seed for the fifth time in school history and the fourth time under head coach Tom Izzo. They have advanced to the Final Four every time that they have been the No. 1 seed under Izzo...With the win, Michigan State tied the all-time series with Long Island at two games apiece. Friday's game marked the first between the teams since the 1940-41 season.
03/17 01:53:23 ET