Clock error costs FGCU in loss to Michigan State

Michigan State's Kenny Goins (25) and Florida Gulf Coast's Antravious Simmons reach for a rebound during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Sunday, Nov. 20, 2016, in East Lansing, Mich. (AP Photo/Al Goldis)

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) – Eron Harris had 31 points and No. 13 Michigan State held off Florida Gulf Coast 78-77 on Sunday night when a timekeeping error led to a disputed finish.

With 1.6 seconds remaining, Florida Gulf Coast threw a long inbounds pass from underneath its own basket. But the clock incorrectly started when the pass was thrown, rather than when Antravious Simmons caught the ball by the foul line at the other end of the court.

So as Simmons turned to try a game-winning shot, the buzzer sounded – much too early. Simmons missed his attempt, but FGCU players looked confused and coach Joe Dooley sought an explanation.

Officials went to a video review as players and fans waited to find out if the game was in fact over. Following the delay, the play stood and Michigan State escaped.

Harris made six 3-pointers and Miles Bridges added 13 points for the Spartans (2-2), who shot a season-best 51 percent from the floor. They hit 52.9 percent of their attempts from beyond the 3-point line, but struggled at the free throw line (57.6 percent).

Florida Gulf Coast (1-3) got 18 points apiece from Brandon Goodwin and Simmons, who added 12 rebounds. RaySean Scott Jr. scored 14.

The Eagles shot 46 percent overall and 47.1 percent from the foul line. They outrebounded Michigan State 41-29.

It was the second meeting between the schools. Michigan State won 97-58 in East Lansing on Nov. 13, 2009.

BIG PICTURE

Florida Gulf Coast: The Eagles dropped to 1-8 against ranked opponents. The school’s only win came during its improbable run in the 2013 NCAA tournament, when it beat No. 8 Georgetown in the second round.

Michigan State: The Spartans kept their November home winning streak alive, but barely. They haven’t lost at home since David Robinson led Navy past Michigan State 91-90 in overtime on Nov. 29, 1986.

UP NEXT

Florida Gulf Coast is home Wednesday against Binghamton, the start of a seven-game stretch that includes six at home.

Michigan State, which has played in Hawaii and New York this month, travels to the Bahamas for the final three games of the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament beginning Wednesday, when the Spartans take on St. John’s. They finish the month with a Nov. 29 game at Duke.