Tuesday, December 18, 2007

MSU cruises past Indiana-Purdue-Fort Wayne, improves to 9-1

Coming off final-exam week, the ninth-ranked Spartans (9-1) won their sixth straight game since a loss to UCLA.

Neitzel frequently gets off to slow starts and then turns it on in the second half. This time, he did the exact opposite. Neitzel scored 16 of his 18 points in the first half, then didn't score for the first 12:20 of the second half. "I wasn't attacking as much (in the second half)," he said. "I've got to be more aggressive and look to keep scoring."

Michigan State stormed out to a 36-17 lead on forward Marquise Gray's dunk with 7:04 remaining in the first half.

IPFW (4-5) came back with a 20-5 run that started late in the first half and carried into the second half.

Junior guard Jakari Johnson (Grand Rapids Ottawa Hills) led IPFW with 17 points.
Izzo credited IPFW, which also was coming off finals week, for not backing down.
However, Izzo was still irked by a couple "complete missed assignments" that led to 3-pointers during IPFW's comeback.

"If you do that in our league on the road, you're not going to win," Izzo said. "We proved we're not a mature enough team yet. When you've got a team down, you've got to put them away."
MSU forward Goran Suton said: "We get a big lead and we relax; we think we've already won the game."

As for some of the easy shots he missed inside, Suton said, "Those shots are killing me. I've been missing them for a while. I've got to change that."

Michigan State scored one point in the first 5:14 of the second half before a driving bank shot by Gray helped turn the momentum back to the Spartans.

"I was just trying to bring energy," Gray said. "This was the first time the Izzone (student section) wasn't here. That had an effect on us. It's weird. We're spoiled."

Gray finished with 15 points. Forward, Raymar Morgan had 12 points and seven rebounds.
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