for this game

Lucas, Michigan State top Ohio State

Jan 7, 2009 - 5:50 AM EAST LANSING, Michigan (Ticker) -- While their coach thought they looked fatigued, the Michigan State Spartans put together a big run before an expected rest.

Kalin Lucas scored 14 of his 20 points in the first half as No. 12 Michigan State used a big run before halftime en route to a 67-58 victory over Ohio State in the Big Ten Conference on Tuesday.

Raymar Morgan had 13 points and 10 rebounds for the Spartans (12-2, 3-0 Big Ten), who won their 26th consecutive game at the Breslin Center.

Although his team kept its impressive streak alive, Michigan State coach Tom Izzo had some bones to pick about the effort.

"It was kind of a strange game," he said. "I think both coaches would agree it wasn't the prettiest game. I know we looked tired and we played tired. We've gone 13 straight days and I just felt like a lot of guys looked tired.

"At times, we did a very good job early on and then the start of the second half we played really well. We lost focus a lot. I didn't think we got enough out of our key players."

Izzo's top players must not have been satisfying him as Ohio State stuck around early, tying the game at 20-20 when freshman William Buford hit a 3-pointer with 6:48 to play. However, Michigan State got its decisive separation thereafter, with Lucas scoring 10 points on a 15-4 run that went into the half.

The Spartans also had the first five points after intermission, including a 3-pointer from Goran Suton in taking a 40-24 cushion on the 20-4 burst that spanned halftime.

"They got in the rhythm there," Ohio State coach Thad Matta said. "They did a great job spacing and making extra passes. We got caught standing and not flowing through that stretch. Give them credit; they knocked down five straight 3-point baskets which was huge for them."

The Buckeyes (10-3, 1-2) did manage to close within 44-37 when Evan Turner split two free throws with 13:21 remaining, but freshman Korie Lucious hit a 3-pointer to start a stretch in which the Spartans scored nine of the next 13 points.

The reserve Lucious ended up making both of his attempts from the arc for Michigan State, which shot 8-of-17 (47 percent) on 3-pointers in winning its eighth straight contest.

"We talked last night and said we have to give him more minutes," Izzo said of his freshman. "He can shoot the ball against the zone. I thought he came in and was energized."

Lucas had an efficient effort, shooting 6-of-8 from the field with two 3-pointers en route to his fifth straight game scoring in double figures.

"Kalin was one guy that had some zip and I thought that helped us," Izzo said. "He made some pretty good plays and passes. When he was open, he was looking for his shot."

Suton chipped in nine points and nine rebounds for the Spartans, who ended up with a 40-32 advantage on the boards.

Buford scored 17 points and fellow freshman B.J. Mullens added 14 and six rebounds for Ohio State, which lost to Michigan State for the third time in the last four meetings.

Turner finished with 14 points and 10 boards for the Buckeyes, who went 4-of-16 from the arc.

"Coming out of halftime we wanted to chip away at it," Matta said. "I will say I thought we did some things better tonight and made some plays, but we need the consistency.

"We show that we are a young basketball team. We can play solid basketball and then it disappears and then we can play again. We need to get these guys to understand that the 40-minute flow is huge for us."

Michigan State's lengthy winning streak will be put to the test in its next game, as defending national champion Kansas visits on Saturday.

"I look at it as a game's a game," Izzo said. "I don't look at it as conference or non-conference. You play a team like Kansas - that's a storied program and that's what our fans want and I want.

"It will be the 13th out of (the last) 14 national champions to visit Breslin Center, so that says a lot. I know one thing, if we're not ready to run in that game, we're going to get run right out of the gym because they do get up and down, their very athletic and they have size. They also have a great point guard in Sherron Collins."