Sports

Michigan State Eliminates Harvard, 80-73

By Eddie Pells, AP National Writer
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Denzel Valentine #45 of the Michigan State Spartans vies for position with Evan Cummins #33 and Wesley Saunders #23 of the Harvard Crimson in the first half during the Third Round of the 2014 NCAA Basketball Tournament at Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena on March 22, 2014 in Spokane, Washington. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)

Denzel Valentine #45 of the Michigan State Spartans vies for position with Evan Cummins #33 and Wesley Saunders #23 of the Harvard Crimson in the first half during the Third Round of the 2014 NCAA Basketball Tournament at Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena on March 22, 2014 in Spokane, Washington. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Branden Dawson scored a career-high 26 points to help fourth-seeded Michigan State fend off a wild Harvard rally Saturday for an 80-73 victory in the NCAA tournament.

The 12th-seeded Crimson (27-5) trailed by 16 early in the second half but took a 62-60 lead when Laurent Rivard hit a 3-pointer with 7:12 remaining.

Travis Trice answered with a 3 of his own on the next possession and the Spartans (28-8) never trailed again.

Siyani Chambers of Harvard reacts after turning the ball over late in the second half against Michigan State. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)

Siyani Chambers of Harvard reacts after turning the ball over late in the second half against Michigan State. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)

Michigan State made its 12th Sweet 16 in the last 17 years.

Gary Harris had 18 points and five assists for the Spartans, who will play Virginia or Memphis next Friday at Madison Square Garden.

Wesley Saunders led Harvard with 22 points.

The Crimson won the second tournament game in school history two nights ago.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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