Spartans Get Redemption

By: AP
By: AP

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- After a pair of disappointing road losses, Michigan State returned home and took out its frustrations on Penn State.
Raymar Morgan scored 16 points and No. 19 Michigan State remained unbeaten at home this season with an 86-49 victory Wednesday night.
The Spartans (21-5, 9-4 Big Ten) were coming off back-to-back road losses at Purdue and Indiana which likely knocked them out of the conference championship chase.
"As you can imagine, it was a game we really needed," said Michigan State coach Tom Izzo, who earned his 299th victory. "Not only to win the game, but to get a lot of players involved and kind of bring our group back together and get a little confidence in our shooting. I thought we did a lot of good things."
The Spartans were inspired by visits during the week from former stars Magic Johnson and Mateen Cleaves.
"This shows us what we can do," Morgan said of the Spartans' dominant performance. "We've just got to do it consistently."
Stanley Pringle had 12 points for the Nittany Lions (12-13, 4-9).
"They built a lead and kept building and building," Penn State guard Talor Battle said of the aggressive Spartan attack. "They were into us from the very beginning."
Michigan State is 15-0 at home this season, including 7-0 in Big Ten action. The Spartans haven't won a Big Ten title since 2001 and likely won't this season, either, despite being the preseason favorite. They have lost four conference games away from East Lansing, including an 85-76 defeat at Penn State on Feb. 2.
The Nittany Lions have lost five straight on the road. Their last win away from home was at Illinois on Jan. 6.
Penn State has never won in East Lansing, losing 16 straight.
Michigan State spurted to a 26-15 lead in the first half Wednesday, capped by back-to-back dunks from Marquise Gray and Drew Naymick. The Spartans led 39-27 at the break, shooting 60 percent from the field.
Michigan State opened the second half with a 13-2 run to grab a commanding 52-29 lead. Morgan had nine points during the decisive stretch.
Drew Neitzel and Goran Suton scored 10 points each for Michigan State. The Spartans shot 58 percent from the floor and connected on 10-of-17 from 3-point range.
The Spartans had 30 assists on 35 buckets, including 15 combined from Kalin Lucas and Travis Walton.
Michigan State committed just seven turnovers. Giveaways have been a problem in most of Michigan State's losses.
"The coaches made a big deal about that," Naymick said. "And (Izzo) didn't have a lot to be upset about tonight."
Jamelle Cornley had 11 points for Penn State.
The Nittany Lions shot 35 percent from the field, including 5-for-19 from 3-point distance.
"We looked like we were a step behind everything tonight," Penn State coach Ed DeChellis said.
Michigan State hosts Iowa on Saturday, another chance for the Spartans to avenge a bitter road loss.
Penn State plays at Minnesota on Sunday.


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