One and done: Michigan State blows double-digit lead, falls to UCLA in First Four
Michigan State is the first B1G team to be eliminated from the NCAA Tournament.
Despite owning a double-digit lead in the second half and owning a 14-point advantage at one point in the game, a strong second half showing led UCLA to an 86-80 comeback win over the Spartans. The tournament run ends after just one game for Michigan State, while the Bruins will advance to play BYU in the first round.
The first half went will for Michigan State, making-17-of-30 shots from the floor and knocking down 5 attempts from the 3-point line while only having 4 turnovers and committing 6 fouls. But hot shooting from the Bruins and sloppier second half play out of the Spartans made things interesting down the stretch.
Trailing 62-55, UCLA went on a 12-4 run late in the second half to take a 67-66 advantage. The two teams battled back and forth for the remainder of the half, and it was Michigan State that owned a 3-point lead with under 30 seconds to play. With 29 seconds remaining, Jaime Jaquez Jr. was fouled while knocking down a shot at the basket, setting up a 3-point play opportunity. Jaquez converted on the free throw and tied the game at 77.
Michigan State had one last opportunity to win in regulation, but a shot from Aaron Henry was way off the mark, forcing the game into overtime.
UCLA scored the first four points of overtime and never looked back. The Bruins hit a few shots, knocked down some free throws and escaped West Lafayette with the win.
Jaquez led the Bruins with 27 points and Johnny Juzang added 23. Cody Riley and Julius Bernard were the other two Bruins to reach double figures, both scoring 11.
Michigan State was led by Henry with 18 points, Joshua Langford scored 12 and Malik Hall added 10. Rocket Watts had 9 points, Julius Marble II scored 8 and Marcus Bingham Jr., Gabe Brown and Joey Hauser all scored 7 off the bench.
The Spartans end their season with a 15-13 record.