James Madison surprises No. 4 Michigan State 79-76 in OT, earning program’s 2nd Top 25 win

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James Madison players react after upsetting Michigan State in an NCAA college basketball game, Monday, Nov. 6, 2023, in East Lansing, Mich. (AP Photo/Al Goldis)

EAST LANSING, Mich. – James Madison, not No. 4 Michigan State, opened the season with a lot of swagger.

And, a win.

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Terrence Edwards had 24 points and Raekwon Horton made a 3-pointer with 8.6 seconds left in overtime, sending the Dukes to a 79-76 overtime win over the Spartans on Monday night.

“We’re not scared of names," T.J. Bickerstaff said after scoring 21 points, including a tying shot with 30 seconds left in regulation. "We go hard.”

James Madison improved to 2-32 against ranked teams, knocking off a team in the AP Top 25 for the first time since beating No. 19 California on Dec. 29, 1992, in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

“I’m still catching my breath,” fourth-year coach Mark Byington said.

The Dukes are No. 21 in the AP Top 25 college football poll, and their women's volleyball team is very competitive.

“At least we’re keeping up our end of the bargain,” Byington said.

Tyson Walker scored 35 points for Michigan State, but he had the ball poked away from behind in the closing seconds of the season opener.

The Spartans, who shot 36.1% overall, missed 19 of 20 3-point shots and made just 23 of 37 free throws.

“I don’t know if I have ever seen us shoot that poorly,” coach Tom Izzo said.

And still, the Spartans had a chance to win.

Walker made a layup to give Michigan State a four-point lead with 1:26 left in regulation, and it lost the advantage at both ends of the court.

Noah Freidel made two free throws after A.J. Hoggard fouled him on a 3-point shot. After Michigan State's point guard missed a 3-point shot, Bickerstaff made a tying jumper with 30 seconds left and Walker couldn't connect on a jumper just before the buzzer.

“Give them a lot of credit,” Izzo said. “They played better than us. They played harder than us.”

James Madison, looking and playing with a lot of confidence, never backed down against a team expected to contend for a national championship.

“That's kind of a trademark,” Byington said.

The Spartans trailed 25-12 with six-plus minutes left in the first half and pulled within four points at halftime, getting fired up about trash-talking from the visitors.

Jaden Akins gave Michigan State its first lead with 15:16 remaining, making a shot after missing six attempts from the field.

Walker did his part offensively, but freshman reserve Coen Carr, with 14 points, was his only teammate in double figures.

“Tyson didn't have a great game, either,” Izzo said.

FAMILY TIES

Bickerstaff, a nephew of Cleveland Cavaliers coach J.B. Bickerstaff, made his James Madison debut after transferring from Boston College and starting his college career at Drexel.

HE SAID IT

Michigan State has a lot of upperclassmen, but Izzo laments that he still doesn't have a go-to leader.

“I don’t have very good leadership right now," he said.

BIG PICTURE

James Madison: The Dukes won 22 games last year, two short of the school record set in 1982, and might be even better this season. The school based in Harrisonburg, Virginia, is the preseason favorite to win the Sun Belt this season in its second year in the conference.

“This can’t be our biggest game of the year,” Byington said. “It’s great for these guys, but we have to get better.”

Michigan State: The Spartans will want to figure out how to begin games better. After trailing Tennessee 17-1 in a charity exhibition game, they fell behind 20-7 to James Madison. Michigan State missed 14 of 18 shots and 8 of 10 free throws to open the game.

“I hope they respond by playing harder, and more physical,” Izzo said.

UP NEXT

James Madison: At Kent State on Thursday night.

Michigan State: Host Southern Indiana on Thursday night.

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AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll and https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball