Michigan State beats Penn State in Big Ten opener
University Park, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Branden Dawson had 20 points and nine rebounds as the fifth-ranked Michigan State Spartans used a big second half to beat the Penn State Nittany Lions, 79-63, on Tuesday.
Keith Appling and Gary Harris added 14 and 13 points, respectively, for the Spartans (12-1, 1-0 Big Ten), who outscored Penn State by a 39-16 margin in the second half.
Brandon Taylor and D.J. Newbill tallied 18 and 17 points, respectively, for the Nittany Lions (9-5, 0-1), who have lost two of three.
Trailing 47-40, Michigan State started the second half on a 10-0 run. Harris tallied eight points during the spurt, including a pair of 3-pointers, to give the visitors a 50-47 lead.
Holding a 54-53 margin moments later, the Spartans used an 18-2 surge to put the game out of reach. Dawson scored 10 points during the burst, including a jumper with 7 1/2 minutes left to make it 72-55.
Penn State got off to a hot start and led by 11, 25-14, following consecutive 3-pointers by Taylor with over 11 minutes left.
The Spartans responded with a 15-2 run that Denzel Valentine capped with a layup for a 29-27 lead.
The Nittany Lions, though, came right back with an 18-4 surge that Newbill finished off with a 3-pointer for a 45-33 edge.
Michigan State scored seven of the final nine points in the half to get withing seven at the break.
Michigan State owns a commanding 32-7 lead in the all-time series with Penn State ... The Spartans have won five in a row since a loss to North Carolina on Dec. 4 ... Travis Trice tallied 12 points off the bench for MSU.
12/31 19:36:54 ET