published Saturday, March 22nd, 2014

Spartans hold off Harvard 80-73

  • photo
    Michigan State’s Adreian Payne (5) shoots a layup in this third-round game of the NCAA men's basketball tournament against Harvard in Spokane, Wash., Saturday, March 22, 2014.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

SPOKANE, Wash. — Branden Dawson scored a career-high 26 points to help fourth-seeded Michigan State fend off a wild Harvard rally Saturday for an 80-73 victory in the NCAA tournament.

The 12th-seeded Crimson (27-5) trailed by 16 early in the second half but took a 62-60 lead when Laurent Rivard hit a 3-pointer with 7:12 remaining. Travis Trice answered with a 3 of his own on the next possession and the Spartans (28-8) never trailed again.

Michigan State made its 12th Sweet 16 in the last 17 years. Gary Harris had 18 points and five assists for the Spartans, who will play Virginia or Memphis next Friday at Madison Square Garden.

Wesley Saunders led Harvard with 22 points. The Crimson won the second tournament game in school history two nights ago.

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