Feb. 17, 1998By HARRY ATKINS
AP Sports Writer
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- Jason Klein scored 12 of his 17 points in the second half and No. 14 Michigan State held on for an 80-75 win over No. 22 Michigan on Tuesday night, keeping the Spartans in first place in the Big Ten race.
With Magic Johnson sitting in the stands after a fiery pregame pep talk, the Spartans (19-5, 12-2 Big Ten) led by as many as 18 points in the first half. But Michigan (18-8, 8-5) opened the second half with an 8-2 run and played much better defense.
Louis Bullock scored 26 points and Jerod Ward had 22 for Michigan. But the Spartans had a 41-25 rebounding edge over the Wolverines, who were playing without power forward Maceo Baston, out with a chip fracture in his right foot.
Michigan State was held without a basket -- relying on four free throws -- for a span of 5:26 in the second half and the Wolverines took advantage.
Robert Traylor scored 14 of his 21 points before fouling out with 6:37 remaining. Meanwhile, Bullock and Ward began to find the range on long and short jumpers.
Bullock hit a 3-pointer, one of four for him, with 4:47 left and sank two free throws with 45:21 remaining to cut the lead to 65-64. But that's as close as the Wolverines could get.
Bullock's jumper from the left side cut the Spartans lead to 77-75 with 17.4 seconds remaining. But Klein clinched it with two free throws with 6.4 seconds left and the raucous fans in Breslin Arena swarmed onto the court as the final buzzer sounded.
The Spartans simply had too much quickness for Michigan early.
With playmaker Mateen Cleaves playing tough defense and leading the fast break, the Spartans held Michigan scoreless for almost four minutes during one early stretch.
Time after time, Cleaves -- who had 14 points -- found Andre Hutson and Morris Peterson open for easy baskets with a pinpoint pass. Hutson and Peterson each scored 10 points.
The defining moment of the first half came when Cleaves snatched the ball away from Bullock, who appeared ready to take a short jumper from the left side of the Michigan lane. Cleaves raced up the court and threw an ally-oop pass to Peterson, who slammed it down with 1:34 left in the half. In the process, Peterson was fouled by freshman Josh Asselin and the three-point play gave the Spartans a 44-26 lead.
Ward hit his third 3-pointer 20 seconds later, but Michigan trailed 44-29 at halftime.
Michigan, a 79-69 winner in the earlier meeting in Ann Arbor, had won five straight against the Spartans. But the Wolverines had been struggling even before they lost Baston. Michigan is 3-4 in its last seven games.