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Men's Hoops Avoids NCAA Upset

March 12, 1998

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Mateen Cleaves didn't let foul trouble foil him in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

Cleaves, called for three fouls in the first half while guarding 5-foot-5 phenom Earl Boykins, played without fear in the second half to lead Michigan State to a 83-71 victory over Eastern Michigan in the East Regional on Thursday.

Cleaves finished with 20 points on 7-for-14 shooting and stayed out of foul trouble in the final 20 minutes to help the 16th-ranked and fourth-seeded Spartans advance to Saturday's second round.

Charlie Bell added a career-high 22 points for Michigan State (21-7), which will face eighth-ranked and fifth-seeded Princeton, which beat UNLV in the first of Thursday night's doubleheader.

The game was delayed for a few minutes after the lights suddenly went out with 3:15 remaining and Michigan State leading 73-62. The rest of the game was played in a dimmed arena.

Derrick Dial led Eastern Michigan (20-10) with 29 points and proved the more lethal of the Eagles' dangerous backcourt duo. He was 8-for-10 in the first half but finished 11-for-22 from the field.

Boykins finished with 18 points but missed nine of his 10 3-point shots and was 6-for-21 from the floor. He had one assist.

The Spartans improved to 25-3 against the Eagles in the first meeting between the in-state rivals since a Michigan State victory in December 1989.



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