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Morgan leads Michigan State past IPFW

Nov 20, 2008 - 4:31 AM FORT WAYNE, Indiana (Ticker) -- Michigan State had to rally after an unexpected scare.

Raymar Morgan scored 22 points and seventh-ranked Michigan State used a second-half run to post a 70-59 victory over Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne on Wednesday.

Kalin Lucas added 17 points for the Spartans (2-0), who were trailing, 44-42, with under 11 minutes to play.

"It was a strange game," Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said. "We did not come out with the pressure that we have been applying, and I thought they took the tempo to us."

After a free throw, Lucas' jumper put the Spartans in front, igniting a 13-0 run that opened a 55-44 lead with 6:01 left. Morgan had eight points during the burst as the Mastodons turned over the ball three times.

Michigan State led by at least nine the rest of the way, making 7-of-8 free throws in the final 1:23 to help seal the victory.

The hard-fought setback comes after the Mastodons were defeated by 28 points in their season opener at Xavier on Friday.

"Michigan State did an outstanding job of coming into this environment and coming out with a victory," IPFW coach Dane Fife said. "On the other hand, I'm very proud of our players. They worked very hard against a top-five team in the country."

IPFW was competitive throughout the first half and grabbed a 21-20 lead on Ben Botts' 3-pointer with 2:27 to go before the break.

Michigan State finished the session strong, using a 12-3 run - capped by freshman Korie Lucious' 3-pointer - to take a 32-24 lead into the locker room.

The Mastodons came out firing to open the second half, scoring the first 11 points after intermission - while the Spartans missed eight straight shots - to take a 35-32 lead with 17:05 remaining. Botts had eight points during the run.

"All-in-all, a good game for Dane and his team," Izzo said. "I thought his kids competed and played awfully well."

IPFW shot 56 percent (14-of-25) in the second half after making 9-of-25 (36 percent) over the first 20 minutes.

Botts finished with 22 points and David Carson added 17 for IPFW (0-2), which was outrebounded, 38-28.