Mar. 12, 1997

Michigan State Rolls in NIT Opener

EAST LANSING, Mich. - Ray Weathers scored 18 points and Thomas Kelly added 11 as Michigan State routed George Washington, 65-50, in the opening round of the NIT Tournament.

The Spartans jumped out to a 36-16 halftime lead on Weathers' 13 first-half points. George Washington managed to close the deficit to 44-35 on Seco Camara's jumper with 9:44 remaining, but Michigan State followed with a 13-2 run to put the game out of reach. The Colonials' only lead was a 3-2 edge just 33 seconds into the game.

Mateen Cleaves scored 12 points and added seven assists while Antonio Smith pulled down 14 rebounds for the Spartans, who shot 49 percent (23-of47) from the field and improved to 6-5 lifetime in the NIT Tournament.

"I thought it was a great defensive effort by our team, especially in the first half," said Michigan State coach Tom Izzo. "I thought we played as hard and as well as we've played in a while. This team is getting better and better."

Michigan State (17-11) owned the boards, outrebounding the Colonials by a 46-24 margin. The Spartans held George Washington to only 32 percent (19-of-60) from the field, including 6-of-25 from three-point range.

"I wish we would have played better," said George Washington coach Mike Jarvis. "We're better than we were tonight, and that's the most disappointing thing to me. I'm sure Michigan State had a lot to do with that, we got outplayed in most every facet of the game."

Shawnta Rogers led the Colonials (15-14) with 18 points.

Michigan State will host Florida State in the second round. The Seminoles defeated Syracuse, 82-67, at the Carrier Dome.

GEO WASHINGTON (50)
                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Camara          17   2-4   0-0   0-1  0  2    6
Mescheriakov    40  4-13   0-0   1-4  3  1    9
Koul            29   3-6   3-5   0-3  0  5    9
Brade           33   2-7   0-0   1-5  1  0    4
Rogers          39  6-18   3-4   2-4  2  4   18
K Smith          1   0-0   0-0   0-0  0  2    0
F Williams       1   0-1   0-0   1-1  0  0    0
Krivonos        25   0-1   0-0   1-2  3  3    0
Green           12   2-8   0-0   0-0  0  1    4
Hazzard          3   0-2   0-0   1-2  1  0    0
_______________________________________________
TOTALS         200 19-60   6-9  7-22 10 18   50
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Percentages: FG-.317, FT-.667. 3-Point Goals:
6-25, .240 (Camara 2-4, Mescheriakov 1-4, Rogers
3-10, Krivonos 0-1, Green 0-5, Hazzard 0-1). Team
rebounds: 2. Blocked shots: 1 (Mescheriakov).
Turnovers: 11 (Krivonos 4, Koul 3, Brade, Camara,
K Smith, Mescheriakov). Steals: 9 (Rogers 5,
Camara, Green, Krivonos, Mescheriakov).
MICHIGAN ST (65)
                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Peterson        19   1-5   1-3   1-5  1  0    3
Granger         18   2-4   0-0   2-5  0  2    4
Smith           34   2-4   3-9  4-14  2  2    7
Weathers        30   6-8   3-4   1-5  1  1   18
Cleaves         29   4-8   2-2   1-5  7  2   11
Kelley          18   3-3   6-6   0-2  1  0   12
Mull             4   0-2   0-0   0-2  0  1    0
Thomas           1   0-0   0-0   0-1  0  0    0
Webber           1   1-2   0-0   0-0  0  0    2
Garavaglia      11   1-2   0-0   0-1  0  2    2
Polonowski      12   1-3   0-0   0-2  2  2    2
Klein           18   2-6   0-0   1-1  0  0    4
Wiley            4   0-0   0-0   0-0  0  2    0
Evans            1   0-0   0-0   0-0  0  0    0
_______________________________________________
TOTALS         200 23-47 15-24 10-43 14 14   65
_______________________________________________
Percentages: FG-.489, FT-.625. 3-Point Goals:
4-14, .286 (Peterson 0-2, Granger 0-1, Weathers
3-5, Cleaves 1-1, Mull 0-1, Garavaglia 0-1, Klein
0-3). Team rebounds: 3. Blocked shots: 4 (Smith
2, Cleaves, Kelley). Turnovers: 21 (Cleaves 6,
Granger 3, Kelley 3, Weathers 3, Garavaglia 2,
Smith 2, Mull, Wiley). Steals: 3 (Smith 2,
Garavaglia).
__________________________________
Geo Washington     16   34  -   50
Michigan St        36   29  -   65
__________________________________
Technical fouls: None.  A: 7,066. Officials: Tom
Gryzwinski, Mick Secrest, Craig Griffith.