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December 28, 2005

Spartans down Tennessee Tech

Box score

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EAST LANSING, Mich. - Maurice Ager scored 17 of his 23 points in the second half, and No. 9 Michigan State struggled past Tennessee Tech 80-63 Wednesday night.

Drew Neitzel added 14 points, Shannon Brown 13 and Paul Davis and Marquise Gray 10 each as Michigan State (11-2) won its 10th straight, the Spartans' longest streak since 2001.

Derek Stribling led the Golden Eagles (8-3) with 18 points, and Keyon Boyd added 11.

Michigan State trailed 11-7 after failing to score for 6:41 in an ugly first half. But the Spartans led 28-25 at the break despite committing 12 turnovers and shooting as poorly as they had all season.

Tennessee Tech missed several open shots and was 1-for-10 on 3-pointers in the first half. The Golden Eagles' struggles continued early in the second half as Michigan State used an 11-0 run to build a 48-31 lead.

The Golden Eagles cut a 19-point lead to 12 late in the game. However, the Spartans' 57-percent shooting from the field in the second half and 16 offensive rebounds were too much to overcome.

Gray had career-highs in points and rebounds and grabbed five of his nine boards at the offensive end. Brown, the reigning Big Ten Player of the Week, added eight rebounds and five assists.

Michigan State shot 35 free throws to just 12 for Tennessee Tech and outscored the Golden Eagles 22-8 at the foul line.

For more coverage of the Michigan State Spartans, check out SpartanMag.com.

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