Balanced attack sends Michigan State past McNeese StateNov 9, 2013 - 5:29 AM East Lansing, MI (SportsNetwork.com) - Gary Harris led the way with 20 points, 10 rebounds and six assists, as No. 2 Michigan State began its 2013-14 schedule with a 98-56 rout over McNeese State in the first-ever meeting between both schools.
Branden Dawson added 12 points and 12 boards for the Spartans (1-0), who haven't dropped a season opener at home since 1970. Denzel Valentine clocked in with 12 points, while Keith Appling and Travis Trice totaled 11 points each.
"I think our guys deserve some credit, even though I wouldn't give them very much," Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo said. "There are still a lot of good things."
Adreian Payne posted another double-double after pouring in 10 points and grabbing as many rebounds.
Jamaya Burr and Ledrick Eackles each contributed 11 points in defeat for the Cowboys (0-1).
Adrian Fields drained a triple and McNeese took a short-lived 13-12 advantage with 5:35 played, but it was the last for the visitors in the contest.
Harris countered with a trey to kick off a 16-3 run, ending on his two free throws with 10:26 left before halftime.
Shaun Johnston connected from long distance and Burr followed with a bucket to shrink the Cowboys' edge to seven, but the Spartans pulled away from there.
Harris and Valentine sank back-to-back shots from beyond the arc to create a 13-point spread, and Michigan State's margin eventually ballooned to 52-25 at halftime.
The Spartans scored the first 11 points of the second half before three minutes elapsed. Alex Gauna's shot pushed the hosts' margin over 40 points just over 4 1/2 minutes in and MSU cruised the rest of the way.
"There are some positive things we can take back from this, but we've got to build on this game and find out how to play with this type of caliber team," McNeese State head coach Dave Simmons said.
MSU next faces Kentucky in the Champions Classic on Tuesday ... The Spartans shot 51.9 percent for the contest and held the Cowboys to 27.4 percent efficiency ... Michigan State also claimed a healthy 66-29 advantage on the glass.
- MCNEESE STATE: 56
MICHIGAN STATE: 98
Nov 8 8:52 PM
- MCNEESE STATE: 25
MICHIGAN STATE: 52
Nov 8 7:44 PM
- MCNEESE STATE: 0
MICHIGAN STATE: 0
1st Half - 20:00
Nov 8 7:11 PM
- Michigan State's Deyonta Davis enters NBA draft after 1 year Apr 12
- Marvin Clark and Javon Bess plan to leave Michigan State Mar 28
- Izzo will assist Davis as he explores option of entering NBA Mar 22
- Michigan State's Valentine laments a game he'll never forget Mar 19
- No. 2 Michigan State becomes NCAA's early bracket-buster Mar 18
- Michigan State promises it won't overlook MTSU Mar 17
- Ex-basketball star Mateen Cleaves charged with sex assault Mar 15
- Deyonta Davis has shot to shine for 2nd-seeded Spartans Mar 15
- Michigan State's Tom Izzo may have a day beyond his dreams Mar 14
- Forbes has proven to be pivotal player for No. 2 Michigan St Mar 7
- Denzel Valentine draws comparisons to Michigan State greats Mar 4
- Michigan State's Kenny Goins out 2-4 weeks with knee injury Feb 16