Michigan State outlasts Tshiebwe, No. 4 Kentucky in 2OT Detroit News

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Malik Hall forced two overtimes with dunks from inbounds games, and Michigan State overtook No. 4 Kentucky 86-77 in double overtime Tuesday night after Oscar Tshiebwe ended his strong season debut with a foul.

Tshiebwe, last season’s consensus international of the year, had 22 points and 18 rebounds for the Wildcats (2-1) before catching his fifth foul late in the first overtime.

Michigan State (2-1), suffering a one-point loss to No. 2 Gonzaga on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln, looked set for another tough out-of-conference loss in this Champions Classic match. But the Spartans ended the game in the final seconds of regulation and overtime thanks to Hall, who finished with 20 points.

Joey Hauser had 23 points and Mady Sissoko had a career-high 16 points with eight rebounds for the Spartans, who spent most of the second half catching up. But with Tshiebwe on the bench, Michigan State finished the game in a 13-1 win over Kentucky. Sissoko put the Spartans ahead with an alley oop slam and had another dunk in the last minute.

Kentucky led 62-60 towards the end of the regulation when Tshiebwe Hall lost on an inbound pass. Hall took advantage by diving with 3.7 seconds left.

It happened again in first overtime when Hall broke free as the Spartans moved the ball into the frontcourt. He drove to the dunk to tie it 71-71 by 1.4 seconds.

After Cason Wallace’s 3-pointer put Kentucky 76-73 early in overtime, the Spartans blocked Kentucky’s shooters and pulled away.

Michigan State: Coach Tom Izzo’s teams always seem to end up stronger than they started, and if these Spartans do that again this season, they could be scary. Despite poor early shooting, they overcome a slow start and knock out a top-five team.

Kentucky: The Wildcats returned to the venue after their most recent loss, a loss in the first round of the NCAA tournament to Saint Peter’s in March, and exited the game with the same result. Yes, they are tall, long, athletic and defend well. But they need to develop a finishing touch.

Michigan State: The Spartans were unranked in the AP Top 25 last season and again this week. They will probably enter the poll after two strong performances against the top 5 opponents.

Kentucky: Coach John Calipari’s team didn’t need Tshiebwe last week. He missed the first two games while recovering from knee surgery. But when he’s on the ground, the Wildcats are clearly one of the best teams in the nation. They could slip a few places after that loss but have a chance to bounce back – if they can beat Gonzaga on the No. 2 road this weekend.

Dick Vitale returned to ESPN’s show Tuesday night after his battle with cancer. Vitale missed most of last season when his signature voice was impaired while battling lymphoma and melanoma.

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