Spartans overcome sluggish start

Associated Press  |  Last updated December 08, 2012
Gary Harris scored 20 points and No. 19 Michigan State broke away in the second half to beat Loyola of Chicago 73-61 Saturday. Adreian Payne added 14 points and 10 rebounds for Michigan State (8-2). Down 32-30 at the break, the Spartans went on a 22-9 run to take control. Harris hit three 3-pointers during the burst. Ben Averkamp had 25 points, including four 3s, and eight rebounds for the Ramblers (6-3). Harris shot 7-for-11 overall, including a 5-for-7 showing on 3s. Travis Trice had 11 points while Keith Appling, the Spartans' top scorer this season, had eight points and seven assists. Devon Turk added 10 points for Loyola. Down 52-41, the Ramblers closed within three before Appling made a jumper and Payne dunked. Loyola held its own on the boards against one of the nation's top rebounding programs, getting outrebounded only 33-31. The Ramblers overcame a 10-point deficit in the first half and took a 28-25 lead on a 3 from Cully Payne, a transfer from Iowa who played at Breslin Center in 2010. Appling and Denzel Valentine, the starting guards for the Spartans, were scoreless in the first half. Michigan State allowed just 39 and 44 points in its previous two games. It was a different story against an improved opponent that didn't win its sixth game last season until Feb. 11. But the Spartans regrouped and left with their 70th straight home win against an unranked nonconference opponent.
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