Michigan State beats Valparaiso in NCAA opener

Published On: Mar 21 2013 02:42:11 PM EDT   Updated On: Mar 21 2013 03:01:57 PM EDT

Derrick Nix led the way with 23 points and a career-high 15 rebounds as the third-seeded Spartans coasted past the Crusaders 65-54 in the round of 64 in NCAA Tournament play at Auburn Hills, Mich.

Keith Appling added 15 points and Gary Harris scored 10 for Michigan State (26-8), which will take on Memphis or Saint Mary’s in the round of 32 on Saturday.

View: Michigan State vs. Valparaiso boxscore

Ben Boggs scored 15 points and Erik Buggs chipped in 14 as No. 14 seed Valparaiso dropped its opening game of the NCAA Tournament for the fifth straight time. The Horizon League champs shot 35.2 percent.

The Midwest Regional contest was tied at 8-8 nearly nine minutes into the first half when Spartans started to take control. Harris hit a pair of 3-pointers during a 24-4 run and Valparaiso went 7:55 between field goals before Matt Kenney and Ryan Broekhoff connected from beyond the arc to help cut it to 35-18 at the break.

Michigan State stretched it out to 49-22 on Harris’ layup with 14:19 left before the Crusaders finally found a rhythm. Valparaiso got 10 straight points from Boggs in the final 1:58 to provide the final margin.

Fourth-seeded Michigan takes on South Dakota State at 7:15 p.m. Thursday at the Palace.

Preview: Michigan vs. South Dakota State


The views expressed below are not those of Click On Detroit, WDIV, or its affiliated companies. By clicking on "Post," you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and your comment is in compliance with such terms. Readers, please help keep this discussion respectful and on topic by flagging comments that are offensive or inappropriate (hover over the commenter's name and you'll see the flag option appear on right side of that line). And remember, respect goes both ways: Tolerance of others' opinions is important in a free discourse. If you're easily offended by strong opinions, you might skip reading comments entirely.

blog comments powered by Disqus