Joseph, a sophomore from Montreal, Quebec scored all of his points coming off the bench and in a sense was a surprising contributor to the offense, after struggling during the exhibition season.
Drew Neitzel went 1 for 8 from the field and was held scoreless in the first half, finishing with only seven points.
MSU head coach Tom Izzo said Neitzel's poor production wasn't his fault.
``In the case of Neitzel's 1-for-8 shooting night, he was forced to take some shots that weren't there, and that is going to happen some this season. "
With the win, the Spartans extend their winning streak in home openers to over 30 years, last losing on Dec 4, 1976 at home against Western Michigan.
Both teams were guilty of sloppy play and poor shooting at times.
After committing 38 turnovers in two exhibition games, coach Izzo had expressed his concern with his team's turnovers, but what he saw on Wednesday night was much of the same.
18 Spartan turnovers allowed the Bears to stay within reach, never trailing by more than 13.
Izzo was happy that Joseph stepped up, but was disappointed with the overall flow of the offense.
``He is playing better, and it helps to have another scorer in there. But in fairness to Drew Neitzel, we have to get the ball in his hands anytime he is open. A couple of times, we did a very poor job of getting him the ball when he was open, especially when we set a pick for him."
`` Joseph gives us another option offensively," continued Izzo, ``so everyone is not just setting their sights on Drew. But because our post guys did such a poor job of moving, we never got the ball to them, and therefore didn't loosen up the defense." Brown came within five points late in the second half but missed the front end of a 1-and-1 opportunity at the line, resulting in a basket for Travis Walton in transition going the other way.
Mark McAndrew had eight points to lead the Bears (0-1), who shot just 29.5 percent from the field in the game, hitting seven three-pointers in the contest.
Brown will play Central Michigan (0-1) in a consolation game on Thursday afternoon at the Breslin Center.
Michigan State will play Youngstown State on Thursday night for a trip to New York for the championship rounds of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic on Nov 16-17.