EAST LANSING, Mich. — 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 third team this week from the Southwestern Athletic Conference to generate an upset. Arkansas Pine Buff defeated Houston Wednesday and Jackson State topped Tulane Thursday night.
The Spartans came into the game shooting 44 percent from 3-point range, but they went 4 of 21 against TSU.
After Michigan State fought back to tie the game late in regulation, Texas Southern went up by four after making a short jumper with 2:32 left in overtime. It held on to its lead by making free throws down the stretch, and the Spartans never got to within a basket as they continued their game-long offensive struggles.
The No. 25 Spartans (8-4) were favored to win by more than 20 points and had easily dispatched nearly all of its mid-major competition to date.
But starting with a 1-for-7 shooting effort to start the game, Michigan State struggled from the field throughout, and the Tigers (2-8) hung in the game.
The Tigers didn’t lead the entire game until forward Jason Carter hit a three pointer with 1:26 left in regulation to give his team a one-point lead.
Texas Southern had trailed by eight or fewer points the entire game up to that point, and had at one point tied it early in the second frame.
The Tigers never trailed by more than eight throughout the game as they hung with the No. 25 Spartans, who had easily won their last three games against mid-major competition.
Prior to tonight’s victory, Texas Southern was 0-8 on the road and dropped each match by double digits.