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Old 12-20-2014, 08:50 PM   #1
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Texas Southern stuns Michigan State 71-64 in OT

Chris Thomas scored 22 points, and unheralded Texas Southern beat 25th-ranked Michigan State, outlasting the Spartans 71-64 in overtime Saturday.

The Tigers (2-8) were coming off a 40-point loss to Gonzaga, but coach Mike Davis' team was poised throughout against Michigan State, becoming the second team this month to score a shocking win in Michigan over a Big Ten team. New Jersey Institute of Technology won at Michigan.

The Spartans (8-4) were without starting forward Branden Dawson, who fractured his wrist in a win over Eastern Michigan earlier in the week. Michigan State needed a free throw by Javon Bess with 6.8 seconds left in regulation just to force overtime, and the Spartans never led in the extra session.

The Spartans came into the game shooting 44 percent from 3-point range, but they went 4 of 21 against the Tigers of the Southwestern Athletic Conference.

It was Texas Southern's first win over an AP Top 25 team since beating 16th-ranked Minnesota on Dec. 21, 1994, according to STATS.

The Tigers won the SWAC tournament last season to advance to the NCAA tournament, but they have endured predictable struggles against a tough nonconference schedule. Texas Southern lost by 19 to Indiana, by 12 to Tennessee, by 26 to Baylor and by 25 to Florida. Then came the rout against Gonzaga -- and there was no indication that the Michigan State game would be any different.

But the Spartans struggled from the perimeter all game. They led 30-25 at halftime, and belief began to build on the Texas Southern bench when the Tigers tied it early in the second.

Texas Southern took a 53-52 lead on Jason Carter's 3-pointer with 1:26 remaining, and the Tigers were up one when Bess came up with an offensive rebound and was fouled in the final seconds of regulation. A freshman playing only his second game, Bess made one of two free throws to tie it at 55.

Texas Southern regrouped and scored the first four points of overtime, and Michigan State's anemic shooting day continued. The Spartans didn't make a field goal in overtime until the final minute.

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