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Payne, Dawson check in, dominate second half, help Spartans overcome horrendous defense

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Perhaps a new idea was born on accident Wednesday night …

Rest (or bench) Adreian Payne and Branden Dawson for an entire half, and then let them impose their will on an opponent for the final 20 minutes.

It worked against Penn State, at least.

Payne scored a career-high 20 points and pulled down seven rebounds, playing almost the entire second half.

Dawson scored five points, grabbed four rebounds and doled out three assists in about 14 second-half minutes.

Both were benched for the first half after an early day altercation between the two at the team hotel.

It was enough for MSU to survive the worse defense I’ve seen it play against the drive and off ball-screens, in an 81-72 win over lowly Penn State. It was as if the lane was off limits for defense in the second half, as Penn State kept it interesting into the final minute.

The Spartans finished their favorable scheduling stretch at 4-1 in the Big Ten. It didn’t feel so favorable.

What’s next should be interesting.

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One Response to Payne, Dawson check in, dominate second half, help Spartans overcome horrendous defense

  1. avatar Spartan 81 says:

    I predicted a 7 point grinder we win by 9
    The game has a differant flow due to rotation issues, if Payne starts the game MSU blows out Penn State by 20 points
    We are now 4-1 and 15-3 folks, We need to win 5 of our last 13 games to keep the incredible streak of 16 NCAA tourneys going,
    All of us know this team wins way more than 5 the rest of the way, Joe Rexrode sees 8 more wins.
    And no one yet has congratulated Tom Izzo on 200 Big Ten wins

    IIIT
    Go Green.

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