Thursday, December 02, 1999

No. 8 Michigan St. 86, North Carolina 76




BY DAVID DROSCHAK
AP Sports Writer

        CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — A Final Four team from a season ago, No. 8 Michigan State wasn't about to be intimidated playing at No. 2 North Carolina.

        “This is as good a place as I've ever played in,” coach Tom Izzo said after Michigan State handed the Tar Heels their loss in a home opener in 71 years, 86-76 Wednesday night.

        “One advantage of playing in the Big Ten is we play in some tough arenas. We try to play with some toughness. I always say that good players don't win games, tough players win games,” he said.

        Morris Peterson scored a career-high 31 points as the Spartans (4-1) stopped North Carolina's 55-game non-conference home winning streak.

        Peterson made 12 of 18 shots and also had five of Michigan State's 15 steals.

        “We got a chance to show the country we could come down here and beat one of the best teams in the country,” said Peterson.

        North Carolina's loss ended prospects for a No. 2 vs. No. 1 showdown when the Tar Heels play UC next Wednesday in Chicago.

        The Tar Heels, coming off three impressive wins in the Maui Invitational, last lost a home opener in 1928 to South Carolina. They were defeated for only the sixth time in 90 such openers in Chapel Hill.

        “The best team won and by far the best-coached team won,” said North Carolina coach Bill Guthridge, whose club was outrebounded 43-28 and shot 33 percent in the second half.

        “Coach Izzo had his team very well prepared and coach Guthridge didn't have his team very well prepared. We were outplayed and outcoached. I thought they were tremendous,” he said.

        The meeting of top 10 powers — part of the ACC-Big Ten Challenge — was played without Michigan State star point guard Mateen Cleaves, still sidelined with a stress fracture in his right foot.

        “When they get Cleaves back I can't imagine how good they'll be,” said Guthridge.

        The 6-foot-7 Peterson was sharp from various places on the court, going 7-for-10 from the field in the first 20 minutes as the Spartans led by as many as 12.

        “We said we had to get him off early and we ran a lot of stuff for him and he really got some shots and good looks,” said Izzo. “I thought that was a big key. Morris is a good player and unselfish player. It ranks up there with some of the better performances of my career as an assistant and head coach.”

        Peterson, whose previous career best was 27 against Iowa last season, then sank his first three shots of the second half as Michigan State took control.

        While the Spartans seemed to grab every rebound and loose ball from the Tar Heels, they also hit nine of their first 13 shots from beyond the arc, including three straight 3-pointers to take a 65-48 lead with 11:52 left.

        Meanwhile, the Tar Heels, who shot 58 percent in its opening three wins, got only three field goals in the opening 121/2 minutes of the second half before staging a late comeback.

        The Tar Heels closed to 71-65 with 4:18 left after a technical against Izzo and had the ball, but a turnover led to a layup by Andre Hutson and Peterson hit a follow shot to quiet the crowd.

        Joseph Forte led the Tar Heels with 19 points, while Max Owens added 18.

        North Carolina started slow but still led 20-18 midway through the half before the Spartans began to mix their inside muscle with strong outside shooting.

        Michigan State got a pair of 3-pointers from Peterson and one from former Duke starter Mike Chappell during a 15-4 run to grab a 10-point lead and led 44-36 at intermission.

Bearcats not No. 1 on boards
- No. 8 Michigan St. 86, North Carolina 76
UC volleyball ends drought in NCAAs


MICHIGAN ST (86)
                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Hutson          35  5-11   0-1  3-10  0  2   10
Peterson        30 12-18   3-5   4-6  2  3   31
Granger         25   4-8   0-0   2-2  1  2   11
Thomas          25   1-5   0-0   0-6  7  1    2
Bell            27   1-7   5-6   1-6  5  2    7
Chappell        21   4-9   3-4   1-1  1  2   13
Anagonye        11   1-2   0-0   1-2  1  2    2
Richardson      18   5-9   0-0   5-7  1  5   10
Ballinger        8   0-0   0-0   1-1  0  1    0
_______________________________________________
TOTALS         200 33-69 11-16 18-41 18 20   86
_______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.478, FT-.688. 3-Point Goals: 9-17, .529 (Peterson 4-6, Granger 3-4, Bell 0-1, Chappell 2-5, Richardson 0-1). Team rebounds: 2. Blocked shots: 3 (Peterson, Granger, Richardson). Turnovers: 17 (Peterson 4, Thomas 4, Granger 2, Hutson 2, Richardson 2, Anagonye, Bell, Chappell). Steals: 15 (Peterson 5, Bell 2, Hutson 2, Richardson 2, Thomas 2, Anagonye, Ballinger).

NORTH CAROLINA (76) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Owens 27 5-9 6-6 3-5 0 3 18 Capel 34 4-12 4-5 4-9 1 4 14 Haywood 25 2-3 0-2 0-1 0 2 4 Forte 33 6-15 4-6 0-5 2 2 19 Cota 34 3-6 3-4 1-2 11 2 11 Newby 12 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 0 Lang 17 1-2 2-2 0-2 0 2 4 Bersticker 8 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 Melendez 2 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 0 Holmes 2 0-0 0-0 0-1 0 0 0 Brooker 6 2-4 0-0 0-1 0 2 6 _______________________________________________ TOTALS 200 23-52 19-25 8-26 14 19 76 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.442, FT-.760. 3-Point Goals: 11-23, .478 (Owens 2-3, Capel 2-5, Forte 3-7, Cota 2-4, Brooker 2-4). Team rebounds: 2. Blocked shots: 3 (Haywood 2, Capel). Turnovers: 17 (Cota 5, Owens 5, Forte 2, Lang 2, Capel, Melendez, Newby). Steals: 9 (Capel 3, Cota 2, Forte 2, Haywood, Newby). __________________________________ Michigan St 44 42 - 86 North Carolina 36 40 - 76 __________________________________ Technical fouls: Michigan St 1 (Bench). A: 21,572. Officials: Larry Rose, Duke Edsall, Bryan Kersey.

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