No. 5 Michigan State cruises past North Florida

Updated: December 17, 2013

East Lansing, MI ( – Adreian Payne poured in a game-high 19
points and grabbed seven rebounds, as No. 5 Michigan State pounded North
Florida, 78-48, on Tuesday at Breslin Center.

Branden Dawson donated 12 points and seven boards, while Denzel Valentine
tallied 11 points, six rebounds and four assists for the Spartans (9-1), who
have won two straight since suffering their lone loss of the season against
North Carolina on Dec. 4.

Jalen Nesbitt netted 11 points and grabbed seven rebounds, while Demarcus
Daniels and Devin Wilson each supplied seven points for the Ospreys (5-7), who
have dropped three straight and four of their last five games.

Michigan State shot a scorching 70.8 percent (17-of-24) from the floor in the
first half while holding North Florida to 21.9 percent (7-of-32) shooting to
build a 50-19 advantage at the break.

MSU scored 10 of the game’s first 12 points and led 21-4 following Alvin
Ellis’ three-point play just over seven minutes into the game.

The Spartans extended the margin late in the frame when Russell Byrd bookended
a 16-4 surge with a pair of 3-pointers to push the spread to 43-14 with 3:14
left in the half.

Michigan State carried a 31-point cushion into the break and cruised to
victory over the final 20 minutes.

Game Notes

It was the first-ever meeting between the schools on the hardwood … Michigan
State guard Gary Harris sat out for the third time in the team’s last four
games due to a right ankle injury … North Florida shot 4-of-25 from 3-point
range, including a 1-of-14 mark in the first half.