DENVER, CO - Michigan State used great passing (28 assists) to get balanced scoring from Raymar Morgan (15), freshman Chris Allen (12) and senior Drew Naymick (10) to coast to an easy 72-61 win over the Temple Owls.
The Spartans led by as many as 18 points in the second half and were able to used as many as ten players in the ballgame.
MSU's rugged defense (Temple 38.2% shooting) frustrated Temple star Dionte Christmas who got tangled up with MSU's 7-foot junior center Idong Ibok and the two had to be separated by officials.
Temple put their focus on stopping the Spartans leading scorer Drew Neitzel and did a good job, holding the MSU senior to just five points.
In the end, it was Michigan State's freshmen led by Chris Allen (12), Kalin Lucas (8) and Durrell Summers with (8) who were the difference in the ballgame.
Neitzel was happy that the MSU freshmen stepped up to give the team a lift.
"Our freshmen played extremely well for their first NCAA tournament game," he said. "It's just been a great team effort and if I'm having a bad game, somebody else is picking up the slack."
Morgan drew praise for his early effort in shutting down Christmas, who finished with just two points, eighteen under his average.
"I just tried to press up on him a little bit and keep a hand in his face," said Morgan. "He's a great shooter, he can shoot it from deep. I just want to thank my teammates for doing a great job."
"We use a term called "six eyes" which means about three players who contain one player. We did a great job overall, team-wise, on defense," said Morgan.
Michigan State advances to the second round where they will play the winner of the 4/13 game which matches Pittsburgh against Oral Roberts.
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