NEWARK, N.J. (AP)Freshman Malik Hall hit a layup with 26 seconds to play and scored all 17 of his points in the second half as No. 3 Michigan State overcame a late five-point deficit and beat No. 12 Seton Hall 76-73 Thursday night in a wildly exciting contest worthy of March Madness.
Cassius Winston added two free throws with 3.4 seconds to play to push the lead to three points, and the Spartans (2-1) played tough defense on drives in the lane by Sandro Mamukelashvili and Myles Powell in the waning seconds. The Pirates eventually saw a desperation half-court heave by Powell bounce off the top of the rim as the final buzzer sounded.
Winston scored 17 of his 21 points in the second half, playing his second game in less than a week after the death of his brother, Zachary.
Powell was remarkable, scoring 37 points in a game most felt he would miss because of an ankle injury. Myles Cale added 12 for the Pirates (2-1) in the Gavitt Tipoff game at the Prudential Center.
NO. 15 FLORIDA 66, TOWSON 60
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) – Freshman Scottie Lewis scored 15 points in his first start, and Florida escaped with a victory over Towson.
Graduate transfer Kerry Blackshear Jr. had 13 points and 13 rebounds in his third game with his new team as Florida (2-1) bounced back from a dispiriting home loss to Florida State. Andrew Nembhard had 11 points and nine assists for the Gators.
Allen Bertrand scored 14 points for the Tigers (2-2), and his 3-pointer with 5:46 remaining gave Towson its last lead at 57-55. But the Tigers struggled from there, going 1 for 6 from the field as Florida ended the game with a 6-0 run.
NO. 18 SAINT MARY’S 81. LONG BEACH STATE 63
MORAGA, Calif. (AP) – Tommy Kuhse had a career-high 20 points and eight assists and Saint Mary’s bounced back three days after losing its home opener and beat Long Beach State.
Matthias Tass added 22 points and five rebounds for the Gaels, who never trailed in the first matchup between the teams since 2010.
Colin Slater had 14 points for Long Beach State (1-3). The Beach have lost 25 consecutive games against ranked teams, dating to 2011.
Saint Mary’s (2-1) shook off a sluggish start and led by 22 after Kuhse’s third 3-pointer of the second half. Kuhse, who had not scored in the Gaels first two games, was 4 of 4 from beyond the arc.
The blowout comes after coach Randy Bennett’s team won their first two games by two points, including a 61-59 loss to Winthrop on Monday.
NO. 19 ARIZON 87, SAN JOSE STATE 39
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) – Zeke Nnaji scored 26 points, made all eight of his shots and grabbed 11 rebounds, helping Arizona trounce San Jose State.
Arizona (3-0) dominated a third straight opponent to open the season, shutting down the Spartans (1-2) defensively from the opening tip.
Nnaji continued the efficient shooting to start his college career. He is a combined 25 for 31 through three games, and he also was 10 of 12 on free throws against the Spartans.
Eduardo Lane led San Jose State with nine points.
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