‘Cats Drop Heartbreaker to Michigan State in NCAA Tournament, 74-73
GREENVILLE, S.C. – Joey Hauser scored a career-high 27 points and seventh-seeded Michigan State used a late run to get by Davidson, 74-73, in the opening round of the 2022 NCAA Tournament Friday evening inside Bon Secours Wellness Arena.
Making their 15th tournament appearance, this year’s Wildcats tied for the second-most wins in school history, concluding the year 27-7. The Spartans advance to the second round where they’ll face second-seeded Duke Sunday.
Luka Brajkovic, the Atlantic 10 Player of the Year, led Davidson with 18 points (16 second half) on 8-of-10 shooting. Sam Mennenga added 15 points, while Foster Loyer and Hyunjung Lee had 12 and 11, respectively.
After the ‘Cats used an 8-2 run to grab their largest advantage of the contest, 56-51, with 6:52 to play, the Spartans responded with a 16-3 stretch to take the lead for good.
The Wildcats got a pair of treys from Loyer and Lee in the closing seconds to get to within one.
A.J. Hoggard (14) and Gabe Brown (12) also scored in double figures for the Spartans.
Both teams finished 28-of-59 (.475) from the floor, while Davidson drilled 10 3-pointers, but made just seven of its 12 tries at the charity stripe.
Trailing 26-21 at the 7:12 mark, Davidson reeled off eight straight sparked by Loyer’s first bucket of the game to go back in front, 29-26. Michigan State closed the period on a small spurt to lead 32-31 at the half.
Despite Brajkovic picking up two quick fouls, Mennenga scored 10 points for the ‘Cats in the opening 20 minutes.