Free throws saved Michigan State.
Shooting only 30% of their free throws late into the game, the Spartans connected when they needed to – holding off the Oklahoma Sooners and earning another trip to the Elite 8.
They shot 100% late in the game as Oklahoma kept fouling to keep within striking distance. But the Spartans didn’t miss, and the strategy didn’t work.
Final score: MSU 62, Oklahoma 58.
The Spartans will move on to face Louisville on Sunday and try and punch their ticket to the Final Four. That game is slated for 2:20 p.m. on WLNS-TV 6. 6 News Audrey Dahlgren is with the team and will have reports online and on 6 News.
MSU got off to a slow start and trailed 31-27 at the half.
But the Spartans rallied in the second half, slowly building a small lead that they never relinquished.
Travis Trice led the way with 24 points. Lansing native Denzel Valentine added another 18, including 13 points in the second half. Branden Dawson pulled down 11 rebounds.
Buddy Hield led the Sooners with 21 points.
Michigan State is the lowest-seeded team still in the tournament.
“The players did it,” said coach Tom Izzo, “They did a heck of a job.”