CHICAGO (AP) — Travis Trice scored 20 points, Branden Dawson added 17 points and eight rebounds and Michigan State rallied to beat No. 8 Maryland 62-58 on Saturday in the Big Ten semifinals.
The Spartans (23-10) trailed by 16 in the first half, went on a big run early in the second and took control in the closing minutes. Tom Izzo’s team will try to make it two straight titles and three in four years when it takes on No. 6 Wisconsin on Sunday. The Badgers knocked off Purdue 71-51 in the other semifinal.
Melo Trimble led Maryland with 22 points, but hit just two of his last 11 shots. Dez Wells (10 points) was the only other player in double figures for the Terrapins (27-6), who had won eight in a row.
It was 48-all when Gavin Schilling hit a free throw and dunked to give Michigan State a three-point lead with 3:44 left. That started a decisive 9-2 spurt.
Dawson had a thunderous dunk before Lourawls Nairn Jr. hit one of two free throws to make it 57-50 with 1:31 remaining.
Swept by Maryland in the regular season, Michigan State trailed by as much as 16 in the first half and was down by 11 early in the second when it scored 15 straight to go up 40-36.
Marvin Clark Jr. soared in for a left-handed dunk to make it a one-point game. Denzel Valentine nailed a 3 from the right side after missing his first five shots to give Michigan State its first lead at 38-35. Matt Costello added a basket before Maryland’s Evan Smotrycz hit a 3, ending a 7-minute, 23-second scoring drought.
The Spartans missed their first nine shots in the game, clanging open jumpers and point-blank layups. It was 12-1 before Trice hit a 3 from the left corner with 14:37 left, and it wasn’t like they were having much luck on the other end, either.
Trimble got off to a blistering start for Maryland, hitting his first five shots and scoring 13 points as the Terrapins jumped out to a 23-7 lead. The Spartans went on a 9-0 run to pull within five with 4:30 left in the half, with Trice hitting a 3 from the left corner to make it 25-20 after Matt Costello grabbed an offensive rebound and passed to him.
Michigan State: The Spartans lost in double overtime and by 16 to Maryland during the regular season.
Maryland: Maryland is 11-1 in games decided by six points or less.
Michigan State: Meets Wisconsin in Sunday’s final.
Maryland: Waits to find out where it’s going for the NCAA Tournament.
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