Midwest Region

Michigan State defeats New Mexico State, 70-67, in NCAA Midwest Regional

The road to Indianapolis is paved with dramatic snapshots.
By Eric Prisbell
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, March 20, 2010

SPOKANE, WASH. -- New Mexico State guard Jahmar Young created a stir this week because he had never heard of Michigan State's Kalin Lucas. After Friday's first-round NCAA tournament game, Young won't soon forget the point guard.

Lucas, who scored 25 points and managed the floor game despite an ankle injury late in the second half, helped lead the fifth-seeded Spartans (25-8) to a 70-67 victory over 12th-seeded New Mexico State in the first round of the Midwest Region.

"It had nothing to do with someone now knowing who he was," Michigan State Coach Tom Izzo said. "Kalin was dynamite."

The game's ending was marred by controversy. Michigan State's Raymar Morgan missed the second of two free throws with 18 seconds remaining, which appeared to give New Mexico State a chance to tie the score with a two-point basket. But Troy Gillenwater was called for a lane violation, which gave Morgan a chance at another free throw.

Morgan swished it, and New Mexico State (22-12) missed two attempts to tie the score with desperation three-pointers. Fans pelted the officials with a chorus of boos when the final buzzer sounded, and a New Mexico State assistant had to hold back irate Coach Marvin Menzies from confronting officials.

Michigan State, which has battled leadership and chemistry questions all season, advanced to Sunday's second round to play the winner of the Maryland-Houston game.

The Spartans led by 16 during a first half in which New Mexico State's coach and leading scorer were assessed technical fouls. Young, a Baltimore native who averages a team-high 20.5 points per game, missed all four of his field goal attempts in the first half and played just 11 minutes in the half because of foul trouble.

Less than four minutes into the action, a double technical foul was called on Young and Michigan State's Delvon Roe. It was the second foul on Young, who threw his arms in the air in disbelief. With a little less than five minutes remaining in the half, Young was called for an offensive foul, which gave him more fouls (three) than points (two).

"We are a little banged up," Izzo said. "The chippiness, yeah, I thought it was different than I was used to."

Young began the second half with two quick baskets -- his first field goals of the game -- to narrow the deficit and rouse the New Mexico State fans.

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