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Winston, Spartans take down Bruins to claim fifth place

Michigan State’s Cassius Winston puts up a shot as UCLA’s Cody Riley defends in the second half of the Spartans’ 75-62 victory in the fifth-place game Wednesday. The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photos

LAHAINA — Michigan State star guard Cassius Winston said his biggest takeaway from the Maui Jim Maui Invitational is how he and the Spartans grew as a team.

After an upset loss to Virginia Tech on Day 1, the third-ranked Spartans rebounded to finish 2-1 on the Valley Isle.

“To come in and kind of get punched in the mouth, we haven’t really had a chance to kind of respond to that that fast,” said Winston, who scored 20 points to help the Spartans defeat UCLA 75-62 in the fifth-place game Wednesday at Lahaina Civic Center. “I feel like we did get better as a team. I feel like we did show good glimpses of what we’re capable of. So just take those things, that energy we’re playing like that, moving the ball, locked in on the defensive end. We play like that, we’re potentially the best team in the country.”

Xavier Tillman added 14 points, seven rebounds and three blocks for Michigan State (5-2), and Rocket Watts scored 12.

Three consecutive games is tough for any team, Spartans coach Tom Izzo said, but the Maui Invitational only better prepares teams for future conference games and the NCAA Tournament.

Malik Hall of the Spartans shoots against the Bruins’ Cody Riley.

“This is going to help us down the stretch. Everything that happened here is going to help us,” Izzo said. “I’m not big on losing helps you get better. I’m just big on playing against different competition and that’s what I’ve tried to do. We’re going to leave here playing an ACC team, an SEC team and a Pac-12 team, and it doesn’t matter where they end up.”

Leading 26-23 to start the second half, the Spartans charged further ahead by making 53.8 percent of their shots — an improvement from a 37.5 field-goal percentage in the first period. They also hit 21 of their 25 foul shots.

Michigan State took control with a 10-2 run to start the second half, and the Bruins trailed by double-digits for most of the rest of the game.

Cody Riley had 11 points and six rebounds for the Bruins (5-3). Tyger Campbell and Prince Ali each added 10 points, and Jaime Jaquez Jr. had eight rebounds.

“We had chances at offensive rebounds and there was a lot of colliding and collisions,” UCLA coach Mick Cronin said. “We missed more shots than they did. … I thought the only good thing was the way we competed physically today.

“No matter who you play against, it cannot be OK to lose. You have to build that within your locker room.”

MICHIGAN ST. (5-2)

Tillman 6-10 2-4 14, Bingham 0-0 0-0 0, Henry 2-6 2-2 7, Winston 7-17 3-3 20, Watts 3-6 5-5 12, Kithier 1-2 0-0 2, Burke 0-0 0-0 0, Brown 2-5 0-0 6, Hall 1-2 6-6 8, Marble 0-0 2-3 2, Izzo 0-0 0-0 0, Hoiberg 0-0 1-2 1, Washington 0-0 0-0 0, George 0-0 0-0 0, Loyer 0-1 0-0 0, Ahrens 1-1 0-0 3. Totals 23-50 21-25 75.

UCLA (5-3)

Riley 4-10 3-5 11, Hill 2-5 1-2 5, Campbell 4-8 2-2 10, Ali 4-14 2-2 10, Jaquez 3-5 1-2 7, Olesinski 0-1 0-0 0, Bernard 0-1 0-0 0, Singleton 1-2 0-0 3, Smith 3-5 7-8 13, Kyman 1-5 0-0 3. Totals 22-56 16-21 62.

Halftime–Michigan St. 26-23. 3-Point Goals–Michigan St. 8-19 (Winston 3-8, Brown 2-3, Ahrens 1-1, Watts 1-3, Henry 1-3, Loyer 0-1), UCLA 2-15 (Singleton 1-2, Kyman 1-4, Olesinski 0-1, Jaquez 0-1, Bernard 0-1, Campbell 0-2, Ali 0-4). Fouled Out–Hall. Rebounds–Michigan St. 30 (Tillman 7), UCLA 29 (Jaquez 8). Assists–Michigan St. 11 (Winston 4), UCLA 5 (Riley 2). Total Fouls–Michigan St. 19, UCLA 19. A–2,400 (2,400).