ROUNDUP: Memphis squeaks past Saint Mary's
Last Modified: March 21. 2013 5:34PM
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) — Matthew Dellavedova's 3-pointer from the right wing sailed long as time expired, allowing sixth-seeded Memphis to hold on for a 54-52 win over 11th-seeded Saint Mary's on Thursday.
The Tigers (31-4) led by 15 in the first half but nearly gave the game away in the final seconds. With Saint Mary's (28-7) down five, Eividas Petrulis banked in a 3-pointer with 3.1 seconds to play. Memphis then lost the ball when Jordan Giusti deflected the inbound pass off Joe Jackson of the Tigers and out of bounds.
Dellavedova, the career leader in scoring for the Gaels, was able to get a shot off from in front of his team's bench, but it was well long, missing everything.
Michigan State 65, Valparaiso 5
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Derrick Nix's strength and skill were much too much for Valparaiso.
Nix had 23 points and a career-high 15 rebounds to help power third-seeded Michigan State past the 14th-seeded Crusaders 65-54 on Thursday in the NCAA tournament.
The Spartans went on a 26-5 run in the first half to take control, and cruised to an easy victory.
Michigan State (26-8) will play the winner of the Memphis-St. Mary's game on Saturday when coach Tom Izzo's Spartans will be shooting for a spot in the round of 16 for the fifth time in six years.
The Crusaders (26-8) were no match for Michigan State in their first NCAA tourney in nine years, just as they weren't as a first-round loser in 2000 to the eventual champion Spartans.
Valpo had enough size to match up, but didn't have enough strength.
The Crusaders didn't seem worried about the 6-foot-9, 270-pound Nix when asked about him the day before the game.
Valpo's 6-8, 240-pound forward Kevin Van Wijk nonchalantly said he and his teammates faced similar players in the Horizon League. If that's true, it didn't seem to prepare Van Wijk and his fellow post players for Nix's brute force, relatively nimble feet and soft hands.
Nix had nine points in the first half when he made his fourth shot to put Michigan State ahead 32-12. At that point, he had as many field goals as the Crusaders' entire team. That basket was scored after backing down Bobby Capobianco so much that the 6-10, 245-pound forward fell on his back as if he was hit by a linebacker. Nix scored 14 in the second half, falling two points shy of matching his career high.
Van Wijk, meanwhile, missed both of his shots in the first half. He fouled out without making any of his six attempts and finishing with two points — well below his 12.7-point average. Valpo's other post player and leading scorer, Ryan Broekhoff, scored eight points — half his average — on 2 of 11 shooting.
Erik Buggs scored 14 and Matt Kenney had 10 points for the Crusaders, whose coach Bryce Drew called as many timeouts as he could to slow down the Spartans.
It didn't work.
While Nix dominated on the inside, Michigan State guards Keith Appling and Gary Harris gave the team offensive balance by making jumpers. Appling scored 15 points — making three 3-pointers — and Harris had 10 points.
When Valpo went to a zone early in the game when the score was tied at 8, Harris made a 3-pointer to put the Spartans ahead for good. He made another 3-pointer during the game's decisive run, making his extra work earlier in the week pay off for him and his team.
More than an hour after Monday's practice, Harris was back in the gym. He got a collapsed ball-return machine out of a corner by himself, wheeled it under a rim and set it up to put up some high-arcing shots. He made 52 of his first 71 shots, mostly from long range, during a personal workout thanks to a sweet stroke that has served the freshman — and the Spartans — well this season.
Butler 68, Bucknell 56
LEXINGTON, Ky. — Andrew Smith had a double-double including a career-high 16 rebounds, Roosevelt Jones added 14 points and Butler made its free throws down the stretch to hold off upset-minded Bucknell in the second round of the NCAA tournament.
After trailing for most of the game, 11th-seeded Bucknell got back into it with a 19-2 second-half run. But after Joe Willman's jumper cut Butler's lead to 43-42 with 6:56 left, the Bison (28-6) went almost five minutes without scoring. Butler went 18-of-20 at the line in the last 4:43.
Willman scored a career-high 20 points for Bucknell, but the Bison couldn't overcome an off day by two-time Patriot League Player of the Year Mike Muscala. Bucknell's all-time leading scorer had nine points, only the second time this season he'd failed to reach double figures.
Butler will face the winner of Davidson-Marquette on Saturday.
Saint Louis 64, New Mexico State 64
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Dwayne Evans scored 24 points, Cody Ellis added 12 points and fourth-seeded Saint Louis overwhelmed New Mexico State 64-44 in the second round of the NCAA tournament Thursday.
Playing through the death of Rick Majerus in December, Saint Louis reached another mark for its late coach. The Billikens (28-6) eclipsed the 1988-89 team's school record of 27 victories.
Evans shot 11 of 16 and finished a point shy of his career best to propel Saint Louis past 7-foot-5 New Mexico State freshman Sim Bhullar. The Billikens held Bhullar to four points, 11 rebounds and three blocks.
Bandja Sy had 17 points and nine rebounds for the 13th-seeded Aggies (24-11), who shot just 28 percent.