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Suton leads as hot-shooting Michigan State cruises

Dec 28, 2008 - 1:42 AM AUBURN HILLS, Michigan (Ticker) -- Goran Suton recorded 16 points and 11 rebounds and Kalin Lucas added 15 points as No. 18 Michigan State cruised to an 82-66 win over Oakland on Saturday.

The Spartans shot 53 percent (32-of-60) from the field and dominated the boards, 34-17, en route to their fifth consecutive win. It was the final tune-up before conference play starts for Michigan State (9-2), which opens the Big Ten schedule at Minnesota on Wednesday.

"I have to say I am as pleased with the preparation that carried over to the game situation in a while," Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo said. "Coming back on Christmas Eve and night is not easy, and with our guys we put emphasis on free throws, emphasis on three-point shooting and a big emphasis on cut-outs."

Making his first start since November 19 after missing six games with a knee injury, Suton finished 7-of-10 from the field and hit both of his 3-point attempts.

"As he says, he's getting tired faster than he liked to and he's had a lot of time off," Izzo said of Suton. "We're still a time away from where we want him to be, but thank God we have enough bodies."

Suton bookended a 9-0 run to open the game with a pair of layups as the Spartans surged out of the gate. The Golden Grizzlies responded with a 15-0 run to grab the lead back, but Michigan State ended the half on a 35-15 run to head into the break up, 44-30.

Oakland would not get closer than 53-39 in the second half as the Spartans went 11-of-21 from beyond the arc.

"We made some bad decisions defensively where we let the ball get into the middle of the defense, the middle of the zone, which is designed to keep the ball out of the middle and make them shoot outside shots," Golden Grizzlies head coach Greg Kampe said. "They got the ball in the middle, and made kick passes, and then we can't guard that. When the ball goes from the inside out, it's very difficult to guard, and they got some open looks."

Michigan State took its biggest lead when Suton's layup with 8:08 remaining pushed the edge to 70-47.

Keith Benson led with 20 points and Erik Kangas added 15 on 5-of-9 shooting for the Golden Grizzlies, who shot 44 percent (22-of-50).

"I think we all felt that we could win," Kampe said. "We still feel we could have won. It just wasn't going to be today."