Nov. 17, 1997

Spartans Claim 82-59 Victory Over East Tennessee State

EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Freshman Charlie Bell had a team-high 15 points while backcourt mate and fellow freshman Doug Davis added eight as Michigan State opened its season with an 82-59 victory over East Tennessee State on Monday.

Bell was pressed into a starting role when senior Thomas Kelley broke his foot during preseason workouts. Antonio Smith collected 11 points and 10 rebounds.

D.J. McDuffie led East Tennessee with 17 points. Greg Stephens added 11 in the loss.

Michigan State led 17-0 before East Tennessee scored its first points on McDuffie's layup with 13:22 left in the first half.

The Buccanneers, who shot only 34.5 percent from the field in their opening game loss to Vanderbilt last Saturday, missed their first eight field goal attempts. They finished at 37.7 percent to the Spartans' 47.1 percent.

East Tennessee went on an 8-0 run midway through the first half to cut the Spartans' lead to 26-14. But Michigan State answered with a 7-1 spurt en route to a 45-26 halftime advantage.

The Buccanneers never got closer than 17 points in the second half and at one point trailed by 25 points.

It was a sloppily played contest, with East Tenness committing 27 fouls and Michigan State had 24.

Neither team shot well from the free-throw line, either. Michigan State connected on only 14 of 35 attempts, while the Buccanneers made just 15 of 23.

East Tennessee committed 21 turnovers which led to 32 Michigan State points. Michigan State held a 51-34 edge in rebounding.