Thursday, May 23, 2024

Magic night ends with 89-87 Spartan win

November 3, 2001
MSU sophomore center Jason Andreas (44) struggles for control of the nall with a Magic Johnson All-Stars player during Friday’s game at the Breslin Student Events Center.

A packed Breslin Center got all it could ask for Friday night, as the Spartan basketball team pulled out a 89-87 victory over the Magic Johnson All-Stars.

With three seconds left sophomore guard Marcus Taylor hit a double-clutch floater in the lane after scooting by ex-Spartan Johnson for the last points of the game.

Johnson‘s half-court desperation attempt was right on-line, but fell inches short, sealing the Spartan win.

Taylor survived a tough shooting night to finish with 19 points to lead all scorers.

Johnson finished with 16 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists to record the triple-double. He played all 40 minutes.

The Spartans began the game with a quick 11-4 run, but the All-Stars quickly got into control of the game, leading in the first half by as many as 14 points.

But the Spartans chipped away at the double-digit lead, getting as close as one.

Johnson and the All-Stars took a five-point lead into the locker room, 47-42.

The Spartans made several runs in the beginning of the second half at the All-Star lead, but it seemed there was always an ex-Spartan there to stop them from regaining their early lead.

Whether it was ex-Spartan forward Jon Garavaglia scoring off a no-look pass from Johnson, ex-Spartan forward/center Pig Miller throwing down a one-handed jam or Johnson simply stepping up and draining a three-pointer, the Spartans couldn‘t seem to get on the positive side of the scoreboard.

But with 13 minutes remaining in the game, junior forward Adam Ballinger hit a baseline lay-up to put the Spartans up for the first time since early in the first half, at 63-62.

The All-Stars fought back, grabbed the lead again and looked in control with a six-point lead and 3:42 on the clock.

But MSU had one final surge in it, and ran the next 10 points off the All-Stars over the next two minutes to lead 87-83.

Johnson assisted two straight lay-ups by ex-Spartans Garavaglia and Miller.

But then it was Taylor‘s turn to teach his teacher, Johnson. The floater kept the Spartans‘ home-winning streak alive, now at 45.

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