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Updated: Sunday, December 8, 2002 5:06 PM EST
NCAA BASKETBALL RECAP
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(21) Michigan St 79, Cleveland St 47
CLEVELAND ST. VIKINGS
Cleveland St. Vikings
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MICHIGAN ST. SPARTANS
Michigan St. Spartans
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EAST LANSING, Michigan (Ticker) -- Erazem Lorbek scored a career-high 16 points off the bench as 21st-ranked Michigan State overcame 20 turnovers and coasted to a 79-47 victory over fatigued Cleveland State.

The contest never was in doubt as Michigan State (4-2) jumped to a 10-2 lead, then closed the first half with an 18-1 run.

"Let me just preface this by saying that Cleveland State has played three games in five days and two of them were on the road," Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said. "We did a lot of good things and if it wasn't for the turnovers on the stat sheet, I'd feel really good about this team.

"If we don't correct those, we are going to be a very average team," Izzo added. "The points we lost in turnovers could win a lot of Big Ten games."

Cleveland State (4-4) had as many turnovers as points in the first half and trailed, 37-14, at intermission. The Vikings shot just 22 percent (5-of-23) in the opening half.

"Our defense is what's going to get one of those runs started," Spartans foward Adam Ballinger said. "As long as you're stopping them defensively, the baskets are going to come."

The Spartans, who have won 62 of their last 64 home contests, opened their largest lead at 73-35 on Lorbek's two free throws with 3:29 remaining.

"I'm glad that one is over," Cleveland State coach Rollie Massimino said. "I thought Michigan State played extremely well. Tommy does a marvelous job with his team. They have all the ingredients. They really go after you, they defend you, they play real unselfish and they put the ball in the basket."

Jermaine Robinson scored 16 points for the Vikings, who dropped to 0-7 all-time against the Spartans.

Ballinger scored 14 points and Alan Anderson and Kelvin Torbert added 10 apiece for Michigan State, which shot 53 percent (30-of-57) while holding Cleveland State to 32 percent (14-of-44).

Michigan State also forced 24 turnovers and held a 39-24 rebounding edge.

The Vikings closed to 19-13 on Jerrod Calhoun's jumper, but the Spartans scored eight straight points to take a 27-13 lead on Anderson's dunk with 4:42 to go in the half.

After Tahric Gosley hit 1-of-2 from the line, Michigan State reeled off the final 10 points of the half.

"I think we're clicking a little bit, not totally," Ballinger said. "Defensively, I think we're playing really well. As far as the turnovers, that's something we've got to look at."


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