Las Cruces – Kalin Lucas scored a career-high 25 points and Raymar Morgan emerged from a quiet night by hitting key shots down the stretch as fifth-seeded Michigan State edged No. 12 New Mexico State 70-67 on Friday in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
Morgan broke a late tie with four straight points, then made two free throws with 18.6 seconds remaining with the aid of a lane-violation call.
Still, it was an uneven game for the Spartans (25-8), a microcosm of their at-times dazzling, other times dumbfounding season following a loss to North Carolina in last year's national championship game.
Troy Gillenwater scored 17 points, including a 3-pointer with 20 seconds left that got New Mexico State (22-12) within 68-67. Jonathan Gibson added 16.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.