LAHAINA, Hawaii — Cassius Winston sat in the Lahaina Civic Center locker room, the tears forming a puddle by his feet as his teammates warmed up on the court below.
It’s been less than three weeks since his brother’s death and Winston’s pain is still searing, his heart still heavy.
Once the ball was in his hands, Winston felt a sense of normalcy, found a rhythm that had been missing since tragedy struck.
Even then, Georgia’s Anthony Edwards nearly spoiled it.
Winston had 28 points and eight assists, and No. 3 Michigan State withstood Edwards’ second-half outburst to beat Georgia 93-85 at the Maui Invitational on Tuesday.
“Once I got out there, I was able to find my rhythm, find my peace out there on the court and that was really good for me, getting up and down, just having that rhythm that I usually play with,” Winston said.
Michigan State (4-2) was sharp early after losing to Virginia Tech in its opener, building a 28-point lead early in the second half behind Winston’s steady play.
But once Edwards got rolling, the Spartans had no answer.
Projected as a lottery pick, the 6-foot-5 freshman brought the Bulldogs (3-2) back almost entirely by himself, scoring 33 of his 37 points in the second half.
Winston needed some coaxing from Izzo to leave the locker room before the game, but was back to being himself once on the court.
After Edwards made his one-man run, Winston kept the Spartans calm, making the key plays down the stretch.
Edwards, who had 6 points in the Maui opener against Virginia Tech, scored 13 points during a 20-3 second-half run.
“When I step on the floor I don’t really care about what people think I should do,” said Edwards, who finished 11 for 26 from the floor. “I just play for my team. I always been a team player. My team’s always behind me.”
San Francisco 89, Hampton 73: Ben Stanley and Jermaine Marrow combined for 47 points, but it wasn’t enough as the Dons led the Pirates from start to finish in San Francisco.
USF (7-0) shot better than 56% (9 of 16) from 3-point range. Hampton (3-3) couldn’t provide its two primary scorers much help — the Pirates finished with just 8 points from their bench.
Washington State 66, ODU 50: What was a back-and-forth contest in the first half turned to a rout in the second as the Cougars pulled away from the Monarchs behind CJ Elleby’s game-high 21 points.
WSU (3-3) led 30-28 at the break, then outscored ODU (3-4) by 14 in the second half. Xavier Green led the Monarchs with 20 points, including four 3s.
Caldwell 64, Norfolk State 54: The Spartans failed to find their shooting stroke in New Jersey, and it doomed them against the Cougars and leading scorer Vaughn Covington, who poured in a game-high 20 points.
NSU (3-4) led 28-24 at halftime, but CU (3-4) shot nearly 48% from the field in the second half, including four 3-pointers. The Spartans did not make a 3-pointer in the second half, and shot just 13% (2 of 15) from beyond the arc for the game.
William & Mary 61, Hartford 44: Nyla Pollard, Bre Bellamy and Eva Hodgson each scored 10 points in the Tribes’ victory over the Hawks in Williamsburg.
The Tribe (5-1) led by nine at the half, but Hartford (0-7) cut the deficit to five with 6:16 remaining in the third. William & Mary responded with a 16-0 run to take the lead for good.
Roanoke 69, Randolph-Macon 68: Kristina Harrel’s game-high 21 points led the Maroons past the Yellow Jackets in Roanoke.
R-MC (1-4, 0-2 ODAC) led for much of the fourth quarter, but Rose Sande’s jump shot with 30 seconds remaining gave Roanoke (4-1, 2-0) the win.