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January 10, 2009Michigan State overcame a shaky start and lackluster stretch in the second half to earn a lopsided victory against the defending national champions.
Kalin Lucas continued his offensive surge, scoring 22 points to lead the eighth-ranked Spartans to a 75-62 win over the young Kansas Jayhawks on Saturday.
Michigan State (13-2) has won nine straight since getting routed by North Carolina, 27 in a row at the Breslin Center over nearly two years and 39 consecutive against nonconference opponents at home since losing to Duke in 2003.
Sherron Collins and Cole Aldrich, the only current players who had an impact on last season's national championship team, scored 25 and 14 points respectively for the Jayhawks (11-4) and reserve Tyrel Reed added 10 points.
The Spartans were sluggish early, falling behind 7-1 and 11-6, before taking over.
Lucas' 3-pointer started a 19-1 run and Walton's jumper ended it, putting Michigan State ahead 25-12. Kansas was scoreless for 6-plus minutes and held without a field goal for 9 1/2 minutes during the pivotal period of the game.
Lucas ended the half with a left-handed runner to give the Spartans a 37-18 lead and the lighting-quick guard had 13 points at halftime.
Goran Suton opened the second half with a jumper for a 21-point lead, but the inexperienced Jayhawks wouldn't go away quietly.
Collins, who missed some time in the first half with a bloody nose, scored six straight points to pull Kansas within 12.
Michigan State led by 20 midway through the second half, but Collins made a layup that made it 63-54 with 3:12 left.
The Spartans sealed the win with Lucas' free throws, two of which came after a Harlem Globetrotter-like sequence in which he dribbled in circles around the Jayhawks before they finally could foul him.