Spartans leading Tuskegee by seven at halftime
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.