NEW YORK (AP) Maybe Melvin Ely is just a slow starter.
No. 23 Fresno State”s 6-foot-10 center was scoreless in the first half but more than made up for it with 14 second-half points to lead the Bulldogs to a 63-58 victory over No. 13 Michigan State on Friday in the consolation game of the preseason NIT.
“Our goal was to win in New York,” Ely said.
And he made sure they did.
Ely shook loose for seven second-half baskets, including four in a row, as Fresno State held off Michigan State.
“The coaches have been working on my shooting when I”m double-teamed,” Ely said. “In the first half, I was happy to throw the ball out and get assists for my teammates.”
Ely missed both of his first-half shots but had six rebounds as Fresno State built a 32-23 halftime lead. The Bulldogs were hot even if Ely was not.
Fresno State hit 12-of-21 shots from the field while Michigan State managed just 10-of-34.
Coach Jerry Tarkanian said Ely was walking around the dressing room at halftime congratulating his teammates on their shooting.
Ely got the congratulations after the second half.
Ely scored the first Fresno basket of the second half, and after Damon Jackson nailed a three-pointer, Ely scored again as Fresno opened the lead to 39-30.
Marcus Taylor and Adam Wolfe scored five points each for the Spartans, cutting Fresno State”s lead to 43-40. That”s when Ely took over.
His four straight baskets opened a 53-42 lead for the Bulldogs (3-1). After Michigan State (2-2) used an 8-2 run to narrow the lead, Ely scored again.
With the score at 57-53 and 1:52 to play, Wolfe”s put-back cut Fresno”s lead to a basket. Chris Jefferies hit three free throws and Matt Mitchell had one for the Bulldogs in the final minute.
Chris Hill”s 3-pointer cut the lead to three points with 6.2 seconds left. But two more free throws by Mitchell sealed the victory.
Jackson had 14 points for Fresno State. Wolfe led the Spartans with 11 points, and Adam Ballinger and Hill had 10 apiece.
Coach Tom Izzo said he was disappointed with the lack of consistency from Michigan State”s key players.
“We didn”t give ourselves a chance to win,” he said.
Marquette 50, Indiana 49: Dwayne Wade scored the deciding basket on a play that was not even designed for him.
Wade scored 17 of his 21 points in the second half, including a lay up with 11 seconds left, to lead Marquette to a 50-49 victory over No. 20 Indiana in a semifinal game of the Great Alaska Shootout Friday night.
In the frenzy of activity in the lane, Jared Jeffries stripped the ball from Nnamaka. But Wade snagged it in heavy traffic and put it in with 11 seconds left.
“We needed an aggressive attitude in the second half and not to shy away from contact,” Marquette (4-0) coach Tom Crean said. “We finally settled down and played our style.”