SPOKANE, Wash. --- Thanks to Kalin Lucas' career night, Raymar Morgan's late help -- and a huge assist from the officials -- Michigan State is moving on in yet another NCAA Tournament. Barely.
Lucas scored a career-high 25 points and Morgan emerged from a quiet night by hitting key shots down the stretch as Michigan State edged New Mexico State 70-67 on Friday in the first round of the Midwest Regional.
Morgan broke a late tie with four consecutive points, then made two free throws with 18.6 seconds remaining with the aid of a lane-violation call.
Troy Gillenwater scored 17 points, including a 3-pointer with 20 seconds left that pulled New Mexico State (22-12) within 68-67.
On the other end, Morgan made his first free throw and missed the second. But with the Spartans heading downcourt to defend an apparent two-point lead, official Ray Perone called either New Mexico State's Wendell McKines or Gillenwater -- or both -- for a violation for stepping into the lane too early on the shot.
Morgan converted his gift second chance to put the Spartans (25-8) up 70-67.