Jan. 24, 1998

Spartans Dunk Penn State

Take Sole Possession of First Place

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Mateen Cleaves scored 25 points and DuJuan Wiley added a career-high 15 as Michigan State beat Penn State 71-59 Saturday to take sole possession of first place in the Big Ten.

The Spartans (13-4, 6-1) are one-half game in front of No. 16 Michigan, which plays Sunday at Illinois.

Wiley, who scored seven points over the last five minutes, gave Michigan State a 62-54 lead with 2:05 remaining when he converted a three-point play.

The Spartans maintained their lead by hitting six straight free throws - four by Cleaves - over the final 63 seconds.

The Spartans shot only 31 percent from the field, but made 28 of 33 free throws.

Antonio Smith had 10 rebounds to lead Michigan State to a 46-34 rebounding advantage.

Penn State (9-7, 2-4) led 45-41 after a jumper by Pete Lisicky with just under 10 minutes to play. A 3-pointer and two free throws by Cleaves and two free throws by Wiley triggered a 12-2 run that put Michigan State ahead 53-47 with 6:17 to go.

Michigan State shot only 23.1 percent in the first half but still led 29-27 at halftime.

Lisicky led the Nittany Lions with 17 points and Joe Crispin had 14.