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Lucious has career night from behind the arc

February 26, 2009

Korie Lucious came off the bench and provided a spark for the MSU men’s basketball team Wednesday night.

Twice.

The 5-foot-11 freshman guard scored a career-high 12 points — including a string of three consecutive 3-pointers in the first half — to help the No. 9 Spartans hold off Iowa, 62-54 at Breslin Center.

“I got in the game and I was feeling it, and when I got the open opportunities I was knocking them down,” Lucious said.

Lucious, who only played one minute Sunday against Wisconsin due to a virus, entered the game with the Spartans up four points midway through the first half.

Upon entering the game, he scored MSU’s next nine points — all on 3-pointers — to give the Spartans an 11-point lead and force Iowa to take a timeout.

In the second half, Lucious once again entered midway through the half, drilling another 3-pointer and then forcing a turnover by Iowa’s Devan Bawinkel on a defensive five second call.

Early in the game, sophomore guard Durrell Summers went down with a sprained ankle, a window Lucious said he used as an opportunity to help his team.

Lucious wasn’t the only freshman who helped the Spartans, as freshman forward Delvon Roe (16 points) and freshman forward Draymond Green (four points) also helped lead MSU to victory in what MSU head coach Tom Izzo called a “disappointing” game.

“We would have lost, to be honest with you,” Izzo said of what would have happened if the three freshmen didn’t step up. “And we could have anyway.”

Morgan “close to normal”
Raymar Morgan put up a baseline jumper, watched the ball roll out of the rim and stood there for a moment, as if to mentally go through his form and make sure he was doing everything right.

Minutes later, the junior forward hit a short jumper in the paint, turned around and clapped his hands once, as if a giant weight was lifted off his shoulders.

If only it was that easy.

Morgan, who struggled with foul trouble throughout the game, finished with four points on 2-for-7 shooting in 17 minutes.

“It’ll come though,” Morgan said of his shooting struggles. “I’m not too worried about it. I had some open shots that just didn’t fall.”

Izzo has said since Morgan first came down with an illness (eventually determined to be mononucleosis) on Jan. 16, it would take the 6-foot-7 junior weeks to get back into game shape and fully recover the basketball skills he lost during his month-long layoff.

Morgan has heard all about that, but said he’s still anxious to speed up the process by spending extra time in the gym working on his skills.

As for now, Morgan said he didn’t think he was 100 percent back yet, although he added, “I’m really close to it.”

Summers sprains ankle; doesn’t play second half
With 17:39 in the first half, Summers grabbed his ankle and hobbled off the court with what Izzo said afterward was an ankle sprain.

Izzo said it wasn’t “a bad, bad” sprain, but with the Spartans traveling to No. 20 Illinois on Sunday and Indiana on Tuesday, Izzo didn’t want to take a chance in having Summers further aggravating the injury.

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“He sprained it early and I don’t think it’s anything serious, but it’s something I couldn’t take a chance on with the games we’ve got coming up,” Izzo said afterward.

Summers returned to play a little less than four minutes in the first half, but spent the entire second half on the bench.

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