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Morgan, Lucas spark Michigan State past Northwestern

Jan 4, 2009 - 4:01 AM EVANSTON, Illinois (Ticker) -- Raymar Morgan scored 22 points and Kalin Lucas had a big second half to lead 15th-ranked Michigan State to a 77-66 victory over Northwestern on Saturday.

Morgan added 13 rebounds as the Spartans overcame the Wildcats' challenge with a big run to start the second half and recorded their seventh straight victory.

Lucas keyed the surge after the break, scoring 15 of his 18 points in the second half.

Michigan State (11-2, 2-0 Big Ten) trailed, 33-32, at the half before scoring the first 12 points after the break.

Northwestern (8-4, 0-2) did not score for the first 5 1/2 minutes of the second half en route to its 12th straight loss to Michigan State.

Kevin Coble scored 12 of his 17 points in the first half and Craig Moore hit four 3-pointers and added 16 points for the Wildcats.

"I didn't think either team stopped the other in the first half," Northwestern coach Bill Carmody said. "Both teams got some pretty good looks and knocked down their shots."

The Spartans have won their first two conference games, both on the road. They got this one in part by dominating the boards, recording a 47-28 advantage on the glass - including 19 on the offensive end.

Michigan State began its second-half spurt with a jumper by Lucas and an alley-oop to Morgan.

Consecutive 3-pointers by Moore sliced the Spartans' lead to five at 51-46, but the teams traded baskets over the next few minutes and the Wildcats were unable to get any closer.

"Give Michigan State credit. It's a good team, and in the second half, they really went at it in the first five minutes," Carmody said.