MSU couldn’t get it done in OT.
Michigan State will head into the new year still in search of a signature win. The Spartans squandered multiple chances Tuesday evening while falling short in their Big Ten opener.
Dez Wells hit the tying 3 to send the contest into overtime and made the go-ahead free throw in the second extra session to help No. 12-ranked Maryland escape Breslin Center with a 68-66 victory over the Spartans in its first-ever Big Ten game.
MSU (9-5, 0-1 Big Ten) squandered a three-point lead late in regulation and a four-point advantage in the late stages of the first overtime as it fell short in its latest chance at a big victory.
“It’s definitely frustrating and we’ve just got to get better at closing games out,” said Branden Dawson, who had nine points and 11 rebounds in his return to the lineup after missing the last two games.
“We just have to learn how to close games out when we have a lead.”
Melo Trimble scored 17 to help Maryland (13-1, 1-0) win its sixth straight, while Wells added 16 points and seven rebounds.Travis Trice had a career-high 26 points for MSU and had it in position for the win late in regulation. He hit the go-ahead free throws with 36 seconds left in regulation, and Matt Costello followed by splitting a pair of free throws with 11.6 seconds left that gave the Spartans a 48-45 advantage.
But Wells answered by hitting a 3 with three seconds left to force overtime.
MSU played without Denzel Valentine for most of overtime after he fouled out with 3:40 left in the first extra session. That didn’t help in the Spartans efforts to secure a big win.
“We had our chances and we didn’t close the door,” MSU coach Tom Izzo said. “Your best players have got to play well, and one of my best players was on the bench and that didn’t help. We just didn’t play well enough and execute well enough to win down the stretch.”