The Commodores had come and gone, the new lights were shining bright
and an electric crowd had found some unusual seats.
The spectacle of a return to Jenison Field House and an event commemorating the Game of Change nearly 50 years ago was underway.
An energetic opening surge along with a furious flurry to cap off the opening 20 minutes helped the No. 19 MSU men’s basketball team (8-2) take a 33-26 lead into halftime against Division II Tuskegee (1-4).
MSU began the game with a 16-4 run, highlighted by a soaring blocked shot from sophomore guard Branden Dawson, and a one-handed fast break dunk by junior guard Keith Appling, both of which drew a loud buzz from the near-capacity crowd.
Appling led the Spartans with 10 points, with senior center Derrick Nix adding eight points and six rebounds inside.
But a 15-4 run from the Golden Tigers cut MSU’s lead to two points, 23-21, with 4:42 remaining after junior forward Jacob Pettway drained a 3-pointer and fired off an enthusiastic fist pump.
Yet, the Spartans responded, using off a 10-2 run to rebuild their lead and cap off the first half.