Mich. State Wins Big Ten/ACC Challenge

Thursday, November 29th 2007, 7:10 am
By: News On 6

It's like being the best player on a bad team. Game after game, you do your job but the rest of the team just doesn't contribute enough to get a win.

That's Michigan State in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.

The 10th-ranked Spartans beat No. 24 North Carolina State 81-58 on Wednesday night, one of three Big Ten wins in the event's 11 games. Michigan State is 5-3 in the challenge _ the only winning record among the Big Ten teams _ which has been won by the ACC all nine years it has been held.

The latest win was vintage Michigan State under coach Tom Izzo. The Spartans committed just 10 turnovers while forcing 15, and they shot 52.2 percent while holding the Wolfpack to 35.4 percent.

``The difference in the game was turnovers and defense,'' Izzo said. ``That's the way it should be. It helps you score points and helps you get the job done.''

In other games involving ranked teams on Wednesday, it was; No. 1 North Carolina 66, Ohio State 55; No. 2 UCLA 83, George Washington 60; No. 4 Kansas 87, Florida Atlantic 49; No. 5 Georgetown 66, Old Dominion 48; No. 8 Texas 98, Texas Southern 61; No. 9 Texas A&M 76, Alabama 63; and No. 23 Xavier 93, Oakland 68.

Goran Suton had 16 points _ all in the first half _ and 12 rebounds for the Spartans (5-1), who have won 30 straight nonconference games at Breslin Center. Drew Neitzel had 17 points for Michigan State, while Raymar Morgan added 15.

J.J. Hickson had 21 points and 10 rebounds for N.C. State (4-2), which trailed by 32 points in the second half. The Wolfpack won three games last weekend in winning the Old Spice Classic in Orlando, Fla., a run that got them back in the Top 25 after a week out.

``We ran into a team that was clicking tonight,'' North Carolina State coach Sidney Lowe said. ``They did what they were supposed to do. They saw we may have been a little tired and they took it to us.

``We don't want to make any excuses,'' Lowe said. ``I'd rather give them credit.''

Said Izzo: ``In fairness to North Carolina State, I think they got tired.''

No. 1 North Carolina 66, Ohio St. 55

Wayne Ellington scored 23 points and Deon Thompson added 14 to lead the Tar Heels (6-0) to the road win in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. Tyler Hansbrough was 6-for-19 from the field and had 13 points and 11 rebounds for North Carolina, which played without starting point guard Ty Lawson who is out with an injured right ankle.

Freshman Jon Diebler had 19 points for Ohio State (4-2), which had won six of its past seven games against No. 1 teams. The Buckeyes missed 17 straight shots while the Tar Heels pulled away from a 39-39 tie.

No. 2 UCLA 83, George Washington 60

Russell Westbrook had 19 points, eight assists and seven rebounds for the Bruins (7-0), while preseason All-America point guard Darren Collison, who injured his left knee in an exhibition game, added 14 points and five assists in his season debut. Freshman Kevin Love had 11 points and 11 rebounds for UCLA.

Miles Beatty had 12 points to lead the visiting Colonials (2-2).

No. 4 Kansas 87, Florida Atlantic 49

Brandon Rush scored 17 points to lead the Jayhawks (6-0), who took command with an early 12-0 run.

Carderro Nwoji and Sanchez Hughley both had 14 points for the Owls (1-6). Second-year Florida Atlantic coach Rex Walters, who led Kansas to two Big Eight championships and the 1993 Final Four as a player, was given a standing ovation by the crowd at Allen Fieldhouse.

No. 5 Georgetown 66, Old Dominion 48

Roy Hibbert had 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Hoyas (4-0), who broke open the game with an 11-1 run to start the second half that made it 41-24.

Sophomore forward Gerald Lee had career highs of 24 points and 12 rebounds for the Monarchs (3-4), who were looking for a home win in the series after winning at Georgetown last season.

No. 8 Texas 98, Texas Southern 61

Damion James had 19 points and 10 rebounds and the Longhorns moved to 6-0 for only the second time in coach Rick Barnes' 10 seasons. Texas has won its first six games by at least 15 points, the first time the Longhorns have done that since 1915-16.

Kevin Abanobi and Anthony Ike both scored 15 points for the visiting Tigers (1-5), who hit 12 3-pointers.

No. 9 Texas A&M 76, Alabama 63

Donald Sloan had 15 points and a career-high eight assists for the Aggies (7-0), who played at home for the first time since winning the NIT Season Tip-Off in New York. They drew a season-high crowd of 10,328, including former president George H. W. Bush.

Richard Hendrix had 19 points and 12 rebounds for the Crimson Tide (3-2), including a layup with about eight minutes left that cut A&M's lead to six points, but Dominique Kirk scored four quick points to make it 61-51.

No. 23 Xavier 93, Oakland 68

Stanley Burrell scored 15 points as the Musketeers (5-1) took a 51-33 halftime lead on the way to their fourth straight win.

Johnathon Jones scored 17 points for the visiting Grizzlies (2-4), who blocked nine shots.