East Lansing, MI (SportsNetwork.com) - Adreian Payne poured in eight straight Michigan State points down the stretch, as the second-ranked Spartans avoided a scare from Columbia with a 62-53 triumph on Friday at Breslin Center.
With the game tied 51-51 and just over six minutes left, Payne split a pair of free throws to put the Spartans on top before adding a one-handed dunk two possessions later to push the margin to three.
Alex Rosenberg finished a layup at the other end to bring Columbia back within one, but the Lions failed to score the rest of the way and the Spartans were able to seal the outcome from the free-throw line.
Payne finished with 26 points and 11 rebounds, while Gary Harris chipped in 11 points for Michigan State (3-0), which was coming off a 78-74 victory over No. 1 Kentucky on Tuesday.
Michigan State shot 20-of-44 (45.5 percent) from the field, despite going 0- for-7 from 3-point range
Maodo Lo led the Lions (1-2) with 12 points, while Isaac Cohen and Rosenberg each added 10 points for Columbia, which has lost two straight since opening the season with a win.
Early on, the Spartans surged out to a 9-0 start behind five points from Payne, but MSU went nearly eight minutes without a field goal, allowing the Lions to grab a 14-11 lead on Rosenberg's layup with 9:50 left in the half.
Payne's dunk with 6:45 remaining tied the score at 17-17, but the Spartans went cold again, as they failed to register a field goal the rest of the half and Columbia carried a 26-22 cushion into halftime.
Cory Osetkowski finished a layup just under eight minutes into the second half to push Columbia's lead to 44-38 before Harris netted seven points in an 11-2 MSU surge that the sophomore guard capped with a three-point play to give the Spartans 49-46 edge with 7:29 to play.