for this game

Neitzel's big first half propels Michgan State past IPFW

Dec 16, 2007 - 2:28 AM EAST LANSING, Michigan (Ticker) -- Drew Neitzel had a big first half before letting his teammates take over from there.

Neitzel scored 16 of his 18 points prior to halftime as No. 10 Michigan State posted a 79-57 victory over IPFW on Saturday.

Marquise Gray scored 15 points and Raymar Morgan added 12 for the Spartans (9-1), who extended their home winning streak over non-conference opponents to 33 games. The run is the third best in the nation, behind only Duke (56 straight) and Sam Houston State (41).

Michigan State, which has won five straight overall, used the sharpshooting of Neitzel to take a double-digit lead by halftime.

"I was very pleased with the way we started out and I thought we did some things to get Drew some shots," Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said.

The senior guard from Grand Rapids, Michigan, who connected on 6-of-12 shots overall, was 5-of-7 in the first half as the Spartans led 40-29 at the break. Neitzel also buried 3-of-4 3-pointers in the opening 20 minutes.

"Originally our game plan was to go inside because they didn't have a lot of big bodies," Neitzel said. "However, on a couple of plays, I fed the ball into the post and I got open looks off return feeds."

IPFW reduced its deficit to 41-37 on two consecutive baskets by Jaraun Burrows at the 15:17 mark in the second half, but Michigan State went on a 16-4 spurt capped by a rebound dunk by Gray with 8:47 remaining to make it 57-41.

"You have to give IPFW credit because we had them down, and they cut it back to four and that's a credit to him (IPFW coach Dane Fife) and what he did at halftime," Izzo said.

The Spartans cruised the rest of the way.

Michigan State, which is 4-0 all-time vs. IPFW, shot 52 percent (28-of-54).

"We started off strong," Morgan said. "Drew came out hot and led us for a while. After halftime, different guys stepped up to get the job done."

Jakari Johnson scored 17 points and Burrows added 15 and 10 rebounds - his first double-double of the season - for the Mastodons (4-5), who saw their three-game winning streak end.

"I thought we did a real good job executing our game plan for the most part," Fife said. "We crept back in it in the second half when I think they had their starting five in there. But we had to make a stop and we didn't and it snowballed from there."

    --- --- -----
    IPFW 29 28 57
    MICHIGAN ST (10) 40 39 79 FINAL

    Dec 15 7:30 PM

    IPFW 29

    Dec 15 6:19 PM