Rocket Watts scored 23 points and No. 8 Michigan State held off a spirited Detroit Mercy team, 83-76 in a closely contested game at Breslin Center on Friday.
Watts, who led his team in the win over No. 6 Duke on Tuesday, paced the Spartans (4-0) again tonight with 23 points on 8 of 14 shooting with four rebounds and four assists in his 30 minutes of action.
Gabe Brown hit four 3-pointers and made 6 of his 9 shot on his way to scoring 16 points, while Aaron Henry had a balanced performance with 12 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and three steals for Michigan State, which was beating Detroit Mercy for third straight time in the Titans’ season opener.
Joey Hauser chipped in with 10 points and five boards in the win for the Spartans, who shot 48.3% from the field and made 19 of their 23 attempts from the charity line.
Antoine Davis scored 24 points on 10 of 26 shooting to go with four assists and three steals to lead the way for Detroit Mercy (0-1).
Matt Johnson added 20 points on 7 of 14 shooting, including 4 for 6 from 3-pointers and had five rebounds and three assists, while Marquell Fraser finished with a double-double of 11 points and 12 boards for the Titans, who shot 41.1% overall.
Detroit Mercy led by five points midway through the second half of a closely contested game, but the Spartans used a 17-7 run to take control of the matchup and secured the victory.
The Titans pulled within a points at 71-70 with 3:38 left before Brown and Davis combined to score seven points to build back the lead to six points.
Tonight’s game had 10 lead changes and nine ties.
AP TOP 25 POLL IMPLICATIONS
Despite the lackluster win, Michigan State will likely avoid slipping in the Top 25.
Michigan State returns to action on Sunday night when it hosts Western Michigan.
Detroit Mercy will travel to take on Notre Dame on Sunday night.