Adreian Payne scored 26 points and No. 2 Michigan State avoided a stunning upset Friday night, holding off Columbia 62-53 in the final minutes.,
The Spartans (3-0) beat top-ranked Kentucky earlier in the week, and they'll have a chance to move to the top of next week's AP Top 25, but only after trailing for a majority of the second half against the poised, patient Lions (1-2).
Maodo Lo had 12 points for Columbia.
Michigan State scored the game's first nine points, but the Spartans trailed 26-22 at halftime and didn't lead again until Gary Harris' three-point play put Michigan State ahead 49-46 with 7:28 to go.
The Spartans held Columbia without a field goal for the final 4:27.