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Michigan State needs overtime to down Arizona

LAHAINA, Hawaii (AP) -- No. 12 Michigan State capped a wild five
days in Hawaii with a 74-71 overtime victory over Arizona (No. 8 ESPN/USA Today, No. 9 AP) on
Wednesday to finish third in the Maui Invitational.

The trip to the 50th state started with a 22-point loss at the
University of Hawaii that dropped the Spartans from their No. 4
preseason ranking. It included a 109-106 triple-overtime loss to
No. 8 Gonzaga in the Maui semifinals, a game already being
considered one of the best regular-season games ever played.

Just 18 hours after leaving the Lahaina Civic Center following
the loss to Gonzaga, the Spartans (2-2) looked impressive in
building a big lead against Arizona only to see the Wildcats score
16 straight points to take a 60-58 lead. Paul Davis made two free
throws with 30 seconds left to tie it and send the Spartans to
overtime for the second straight day.

Shannon Brown, who had 19 points, gave the Spartans the lead for
good at 70-68 with a jumper with 35 seconds left.

"Four-and-a-half games in five days, we did wear down a little
bit," Michigan State coach Tom Izzo, taking the blame for the
hectic start to the season. "There was stupidity in the
scheduling, but we survived it."

Davis said the Spartans were determined not to let the bad
second half against Arizona make the trip home a somber one.

"In the timeouts late we were saying, `We're not going to lose
this game," he said. "I'm proud of our guys and I'm going to
enjoy this."

In keeping with the theme of the trip, the last game had to have
a crazy ending.

After Arizona freshman Marcus Williams missed two free throws
with 8.5 seconds left, making him 0-for-7 from the line for his
young career, Davis hit two more free throws with 5.8 seconds left.

Arizona Chris Rodgers hit a 3-pointer with a second left and
immediately called a timeout. The Wildcats didn't have one left so
a technical foul was charged and Maurice Ager made two free throws
for the final margin.

Williams said he had been in a situation like before in high
school.

"I know I struggled in the tournament but I stepped to line
with confidence," he said. "My coach and teammates told me they
know I'll make them when I get the chance again. It's something
everyone has to deal with in their career and I have to now."

Ager, who had a career-high 36 points in the loss to Gonzaga,
scored 20 points against Arizona, and Davis finished with 18 points
and nine rebounds. The Spartans finished with a 43-23 advantage on
the boards, including 27-6 in the first half when they took a 37-23
lead.

"We just got absolutely hammered on the boards but Michigan
State does that to a lot of people," Arizona coach Lute Olson
said. "I want to acknowledge the courage and the heart of that
team following what I thought was the best preseason game I've ever
seen to go to another overtime and be able to sustain that
effort."

Hassan Adams had 21 points, nine rebounds and six steals for the
Wildcats, while Rodgers had 20 points and Mustafa Shakur added 10,
six in the overtime.

Brown hit a jumper with 5:43 left to give Michigan State a 58-44
lead and those were the Spartans' last points until Davis' free
throws with 30 seconds to play.

Williams had six of his eight points in Arizona's 16-0 run that
was fueled by seven Michigan State turnovers. Adams, who had a
thunderous rebound dunk in the run, gave Arizona its first lead
since 15-13 when he scored on a drive with 56 seconds left to make
it 60-58.

"In the second half we did a good job defensively and made it
difficult for them to get looks at the basket," Olson said.
"Marcus' size and length bothered their point guard."

The Spartans admitted they were tired.

"To be honest, I kind of got tired a little bit," Ager said.
"But that's no excuse for careless ballhandling and turnovers."

Brown said he had "nothing left in me. Fortunately we came out
with the win."

Izzo said he learned a lot about his team from the trip.

"They're tougher than I am," he said. "It says a lot about
their character."

This was Michigan State's third appearance on Maui with the
Spartans winning the eight-team tournament in 1991 and finishing
fourth in 1995.

The Wildcats reached the championship game in their other three
appearances here, winning it all in 2000 and finishing second in
1993 and 1997.