Behind 21 points from freshman Miles Bridges and a career-high 12 assists by Lourawls “Tum Tum” Nairn, the Michigan State Spartans edged Wichita State 77-72 on Friday in the third place game of the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament.
Eron Harris, Matt McQuad and Nick Ward finished with 13 points each for the Spartans.
Although they escaped with the win, the Spartans nearly blew an 18 point lead in the final eight minutes. While he didn’t put all the blame on their tough early season schedule, MSU coach Tom Izzo admitted that the team looked a bit tired and overwhelmed late.
Michigan State led by 18 midway through the half and held a 15-point lead with 8:05 left, only to see the Shockers (5-2) turn to fullcourt pressure to get back in it. Wichita State ran off a 14-0 run to get to 66-65 on Daishon Smith’s layup over Bridges with 4:13 left.
With one final chance to tie things up at 75, Smith launched a three from the top of the key, but couldn’t convert. Bridges gathered the rebound and hit two clinching free throws with 4.7 seconds left in the game.