EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gabe Brown and Malik Hall led a key second-half surge and Tom Izzo became the all-time Big Ten leader in career wins as Michigan State defeated Maryland 77-67 on Sunday.
With his 663rd win at Michigan State, Izzo passed Indiana’s Bob Knight for the most wins at a Big Ten school. Knight remains the leader in conference wins, with 353 to second-place Izzo’s 322.
Maryland outscored the Spartans 32-15 in the first 12 1/2 minutes of the second half, cutting their 20-point halftime deficit to 61-58. In that span both teams had 10-0 runs and Maryland added a 19-2 run that included two 3-pointers by Eric Ayala and another from Donta Scott.
Brown, a senior co-captain, then stepped up with a personal 7-0 run, Hall, a junior, added seven points of his own and Michigan State led 75-62 with two minutes to go.
“We’ve had a few ups and downs, but it’s March and March around here is special,” Izzo said to the Breslin Center crowd after the game during the team’s Senior Day ceremony. “We’re good enough to beat a lot of people.”
Hall scored 17 points off the bench and Brown finished with 10. Tyson Walker had 13 points and Marcus Bingham Jr. added 12 points and 11 rebounds for the Spartans (20-11, 11-9 Big Ten).
Ayala had 19 points, Fatts Russell 16 and Scott 13 for Maryland (15-16, 7-13).
Michigan State, seeded seventh, will face 10th-seeded Maryland on Thursday night in the Big Ten tournament quarterfinals.
“We’re confident in our abilities and that we’re going to execute our game plan for the whole 40 minutes,” Russell said. “We fought in the second half, we just have to put the whole 40 together.”
Michigan State scored the game’s first 14 points and the opening run reached 18-1 before Maryland made a shot. The Terrapins missed their first 14 shots and went on to miss their first 13 3-pointers before Russell hit with 2:10 left in the half. Michigan State led 46-26 at halftime. Bingham led the Spartans with 12 points and nine rebounds. He was 3-for-3 from 3-point distance.
After losing five-straight games, including a 65-63 loss to Michigan State, the Terrapins had won four of their last five games, including a 75-60 win at home over No. 23 Ohio State.