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Michigan State bounces back with win over Bradley

Dec 8, 2008 - 1:46 AM EAST LANSING, Michigan (Ticker) -- After a rough stretch on the schedule to open the season, Michigan State began a stretch of home games by getting back in the win column.

Chris Allen scored 19 points as the 12th-ranked Spartans followed a blowout loss to the top-ranked team in the country with a 75-59 triumph over Bradley on Sunday.

Kalin Lucas collected 12 points, six rebounds and nine assists for the Spartans, who lost their last contest, 98-63, to North Carolina on Wednesday.

"The loss bothers me, but I told you I'm not going to break anybody's win records and I'm not dumb enough to think a bad loss doesn't hurt you, but the loss was a loss," Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said. "Even though it was one of the worst I've had, the good thing is that I've had worse and had to deal with it and found a way to get back on track and that's what we're going to do."

Michigan State (5-2) got off to a slow start in its first game at the Breslin Center since a season-opening win, leading, 32-27, at halftime. Allen had 13 points in the opening 20 minutes but each team shot below 38 percent, keeping it close.

"They do a good job running their offense - they move a lot and do a lot of things," Izzo said of Bradley. "I thought they shot the ball well early and, during one of the timeouts, we made an adjustment on how we were going to cover it. From that point on, I thought our defense was a lot better."

With a 41-35 lead at the 14:35 mark, the Spartans went on a 17-5 run to open up a comfortable lead midway through the second half.

The bench helped forge Michigan State ahead, outscoring Bradley, 18-6, after halftime and 26-8 for the game, led by nine points from Durrell Summers.

"I thought that for whatever reason they were content with after 20 minutes just being in the game," Bradley coach Jim Les said. "This is a 40-minute game and we didn't come here just to play 20 and be content with just being in the game at halftime. We played like we were content."

The Spartans played three games in four days during the Old Spice Classic and appeared out of gas in the rout against the Tar Heels. But they registered a win in their first of three straight home games, holding a 45-32 rebounding edge and shooting 47 percent (9-of-19) from 3-point range.

Theron Wilson had 16 points and seven boards for Bradley (4-3). Dodie Dunson added 13 points as the Braves sank just 18 percent (4-of-22) of their 3-point attempts.

"In the first half we had all of the intensity," Wilson said. "We went into the half only trailing by five points, and at the start of the second half, we put our guard down just for that one second and against a good team you can't do that."