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Spartans Down Tulsa in Semis

December 23, 1998

LAIE, Hawaii--Morris Peterson came off the bench to score 21 points as 14th-ranked Michigan State won its fourth straight game and snapped Tulsa's eight-game winning streak with a 68-58 victory in the semifinals of the Pearl Harbor Classic.

The Spartans (8-3), who have shown inconsistency this season, have not lost since suffering an 82-68 setback against No. 1 Connecticut on December 5th. They will play Alabama in Wednesday's title game.

Peterson, the Spartans' leading scorer at 14.5 points per game and one of the top sixth men in the country, scored 13 points in the first half to help Michigan State to a 40-27 lead at the break.

Point guard Mateen Cleaves added 15 points and dished out seven assists and Jason Klein scored 10 points for the Spartans, who made half their 42 shots and evened the all-time series at 2-2.

Eric Coley and Tony Heard scored 15 points apiece and Michael Ruffin added 14 to lead the Golden Hurricane (10-2), who lost for the first time since November 22nd at Alabama-Birmingham.

Tulsa shot just 36 percent (16-of-44) and held a slim 29-27 edge on the boards, including a 15-8 off the offensive glass.

Tulsa opened the second half with a 12-3 run to pull within four points but MSU went on a 10-2 spurt to open a 53-41 bulge with seven minutes to go.

After Coley dunked, hit a jump shot and added a free throw to pull the Hurricane within four with 12:18 to go, Cleaves sandwiched a jumper between four free throws by Andre Hutson to spark MSU's run.

Peterson made a jumper with 14:15 left in the first half to stake the Spartans to a 9-2 lead. His layup and a three-pointer by Klein stretched the advantage to 25-10 with 9:06 remaining.



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