UConn edges No. 2 Michigan State in MauiNov 24, 2010 - 5:16 AM Maui, HI (Sports Network) - Kemba Walker scored 30 points and Alex Oriakhi added 15 points and 17 rebounds as Connecticut knocked off second-ranked Michigan State, 70-67, in the semifinals at the 2010 Maui Invitational.
Roscoe Smith supplied eight points and eight boards for the Huskies (4-0), who will take on eighth-ranked Kentucky in Wednesday's championship game.
Draymond Green scored 22 points and pulled down 12 boards while Durrell Summers chipped in 13 points for the Spartans (3-1), who fell to 1-2 in semifinal tilts at the prestigious early-season tournament.
UConn evened the all-time series at two apiece and somewhat atoned for a loss to the Spartans in the national semifinals in 2009.
"I thought it was an NCAA tournament game or a Big East tournament game - it was that caliber of a game," Connecticut head coach Jim Calhoun said. "This is an absolutely tremendous team win."
Garrick Sherman's layup gave the Spartans a 52-46 lead, the largest for either side to that point, with just over 12 minutes to play.
A Shabazz Napier fastbreak layup with 5:22 left capped an 11-0 surge that put UConn back in the lead, 66-61.
Sherman's turnaround jumper knotted the score at 66, the 16th tie of the game, with 3:39 remaining, before a Green foul shot gave the Spartans a one-point edge with 2 1/2 minutes left.
Walker missed the front end of a 1-and-1, but Niels Giffey grabbed the rebound and Walker cashed in on the second chance, draining a fallaway jumper to put the Huskies back on top, 68-67, with 52 ticks to go.
Oriakhi made 1-of-2 at the line to make it a two-point UConn lead prior to each team missing a pair of foul shots.
Michigan State couldn't get off a shot when Kalin Lucas made an errant pass out of bounds with 3.3 seconds left.
Napier made 1-of-2 to make it a three-point margin before Green missed a heave from halfcourt to end the game.
"I'm very disappointed with the way we finished," said Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo. "We had some things that just didn't work out the way we wanted them to."
The teams were not separated by more than three points until Walker's layup put UConn up 25-20 with 6 1/2 minutes remaining in the first half. The sides then exchanged small bursts as the lead went back and forth three times.
A Lucas layup capped an 8-0 spurt that put the Spartans ahead, 28-25, prior to the Huskies running off the next six points to move back in front.
Green scored the last four in a 6-0 burst that put Michigan State in the lead by three before Napier beat the buzzer with a three-pointer from the right wing to forge a 34-34 tie at the break.
Walker, who had scored 31 and 42 in his last two games, became the first UConn player under Calhoun to have three consecutive 30-point games...Neither team shot well, as UConn made 25-of-62 for 40.3 percent from the floor and Michigan State made just 40.4 percent, 23-for-57...Both teams made six from beyond the arc...The Huskies were the 2005 Maui champs after knocking off Gonzaga, which had defeated Michigan State in triple overtime to reach the title game...The teams combined to miss 11 of their last 14 foul shots...The Huskies were 14-of-24 from the line while the Spartans went 15-of-20.
- CONNECTICUT: 70
MICHIGAN STATE: 67
Nov 23 9:18 PM
- CONNECTICUT: 34
MICHIGAN STATE: 34
2nd Half - 20:00
Nov 23 8:14 PM
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