No. 20 Michigan State gets by Bowling Green
Bowling Green, OH – Gary Harris and Denzel Valentine posted 12 points each as the No. 20 Michigan State Spartans used a late surge to overcome Bowling Green, 64-53, at Stroh Center.
Branden Dawson added 10 points with seven rebounds for the Spartans (10-2), who have won five in a row.
"When you walk a way with a win, I think you learn something going on the road," Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said. "They played with some passion and they were hungry."
Chauncey Orr recorded a game-high 16 points for the Falcons (5-5), who dropped their second game in the last six. Jordon Crawford contributed 10 points, seven assists and four rebounds in defeat.
"I thought offensively we were really good," Bowling green coach Louis Orr said. "It was great to see everybody playing with that kind of confidence."
Orr's triple pulled the Falcons into a 45-45 tie, but the Spartans gained separation for good thanks to a 14-2 run.
Valentine got the burst started with a jumper, then Harris finished off a three-point play. Alex Gauna hit a basket and Keith Appling sank two from the line before two free throws from Jehvon Clarke broke the streak. Dawson added a layup and slam, then Harris made 1-of-2 from the line to cap the surge with 4:12 remaining.
Bowling Green only reduced its deficit to eight before faltering down the stretch.
Cameron Black's layup capped a 10-5 run and gave the Falcons a 25-22 edge with just over six minutes left in the first half, but Michigan State finished on a 12-4 clip to take a five-point edge to the break.
Adreian Payne and Harris kicked off the burst with back-to-back slams, Valentine added a jumper, and Brandan Kearney finished it off with a short make.
Michigan State has won 11 of 14 meetings with Bowling Green ... The Spartans shot 48.1 percent from the floor, and held the Falcons to 32.8 percent efficiency from the field ... MSU's Derrick Nix pulled down a game-high eight rebounds, helping the visitors claim a slim 38-35 edge on the glass.