Spartans Respond With Thumping Of Oklahoma State

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press
Raymar Morgan doesn

Michigan State coach Tom Izzo, left, is congratulated by Oklahoma State coach Travis Ford following an NCAA college basketball game at the Old Spice Classic tournament in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., Friday, Nov. 28, 2008. Michigan State won 94-79. (AP Photo/Reinhold Matay)

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) -- Raymar Morgan and his teammates responded to a challenge from Michigan State coach Tom Izzo.
Morgan scored 29 points and No. 5 Michigan State rebounded from its first loss of the season with a convincing 94-79 win over Oklahoma State in a losers' bracket game Friday night at the Old Spice Classic.
Travis Walton added 16 points for Michigan State (3-1), which was upset by Maryland 80-62 in the opening round.
"That was an interesting game for a coach because, as all you can imagine, nobody felt good about (Thursday night)," Izzo said. "The credit definitely goes to the players."
Oklahoma State (4-2) got 21 points from Terrel Harris. The Cowboys were beat 83-71 by No. 9 Gonzaga on Thursday.
"If we use this as a learning experience, we can respond from it and make our team a better team for the long run," Oklahoma State coach Travis Ford. "We're learning a lot about ourselves."
After averaging 21.5 points in his first two games this season, Morgan spent most of Thursday's game with Maryland on the bench in foul trouble and finished with just four points.
"Coach challenged me," Morgan said.
Morgan was not in the starting lineup for just the fourth time in 68 career games, and the first time since his freshman year.
"I knew we couldn't afford to get fouls on him early," Izzo said. "He really responded and had an incredible game."
The junior came off the bench with 16:50 left in the first half and scored four points before being taken out three minutes later after picking up his second foul.
Morgan was reinserted back into the lineup midway through the first half and scored on a layup to put Michigan State up 23-16 with eight minutes left. His 3-point play with 4:34 remaining extended the Spartans' advantage to 36-19.
"Morgan came out and was just an animal," Ford said.
Morgan had 9 points, and Marquise Gray and Kalin Lucas added 8 apiece to help Michigan State take a 44-29 halftime lead. Gray and Lucas finished with 12 points each.
Lucas' fast-break basket gave Michigan State a 57-36 lead with 17 minutes to play. Walton's basket made it 61-39 at the 14-minute mark.
Harris' 3-point play got Oklahoma State within 62-48, but Morgan responded by scoring the next four points.
Obi Muonelo scored 15 points, Byron Eaton 14, and James Anderson 13 in Oklahoma State's losing effort.
Michigan State center Goran Suton missed his second straight game with a sprained left knee.


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