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November 28, 2007
EAST LANSING, Mich. — Goran Suton had 16 points and 12 rebounds and No. 10 Michigan State cruised past No. 24 North Carolina State 81-58 on Wednesday night.
The Spartans (5-1) have won 30 straight nonconference home games at Breslin Center, extending what was the nation's sixth-longest active streak entering the game that was part of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.
J.J. Hickson had 21 points and 10 rebounds for N.C. State (4-2), which shot poorly and was dominated on the boards by the Spartans.
Michigan State led by as many as 32 points in the second half before the Wolfpack rallied late to make the final score closer.
Michigan State entered this year's annual conference competition as the only regularly participating Big Ten team with a winning record, which now stands at 5-3. The ACC has won the overall series every year since its debut in 1999.
N.C. State is 5-4 in the event.
Farnold Degand had 11 points for N.C. State.
Suton scored several key baskets as the Spartans built a 22-7 lead midway through the first half. N.C. State was dominated on the boards and made only two of 15 shots during that stretch.
Michigan State led 41-19 at halftime behind Suton's 16 points.
N.C. State shot only 21.7 percent from the field in the first half, while Michigan State shot 51.4 percent.
The Wolfpack got within 20 points with about 5 minutes remaining, but N.C. State couldn't get any closer against a Michigan State team that appeared focused for a highly anticipated game in front of its home fans.
Spartan coach Tom Izzo started sophomore Travis Walton at point guard ahead of freshman Kalin Lucas. Sophomore Isaiah Dahlman was the first guard off the bench instead of the usual top reserve guards, freshmen Chris Allen and Durrell Summers.
All three freshmen played in the first half, but their minutes were limited.
The Spartans' only loss came last week to UCLA. But Michigan State had been inconsistent as it tries to work its talented freshmen into a lineup that returned every key player from last season.
Turnovers have been a problem. They weren't Wednesday, as the Spartans committed just 10 compared to N.C. State's 15.
N.C. State last week fought its way to the Old Spice Classic title, edging Villanova in the championship game to rejoin the Top 25.
North Carolina State leads the all-time series with Michigan State 5-2. Wednesday's meeting was the first since the Wolfpack beat the Spartans in the first round of the 2002 NCAA tournament.