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Payne stars as Michigan State dumps Delaware in NCAA opener

Spokane, WA (SportsNetwork.com) - Adreian Payne scored 23 of his game-best and career-high 41 points in an explosive first half, as Michigan State dumped Delaware by a 93-78 count in second round action in the East Region of the NCAA Tournament.

Travis Trice totaled 19, while both Gary Harris and Branden Dawson contributed 10 points for the fourth-seeded Spartans (27-8), champions of the Big Ten tourney who advance to take on surprising 12-seed Harvard in a third-round matchup on Saturday.

Devon Saddler poured in 21 points and Devon Usher followed with 20 for the Blue Hens (25-10), winners of the CAA postseason crown who hadn't earned an NCAA berth since 1999. Jarvis Threatt totaled 14 points with six rebounds.

MSU seized control with a monster 23-6 burst through the middle portion of the first half. Up just 13-12, Payne broke through with a jumper to start the run, then Harris contributed back-to-back buckets.

Payne later sank consecutive treys to make it a 30-18 spread, finished off a three-point play and then drained a yet another trey to cap the run with 6:32 left which gave the Spartans a 36-18 advantage.

Delaware reduced its deficit to 41-33 after a three from Saddler inside of two minutes left, but fell behind 44-33 at the break on a Trice layup.

Saddler made two baskets in a row and Usher's make from long distance got the Blue Hens to 44-39 less than two minutes into the second half, but Appling's layup capped an 8-2 surge and left Michigan State ahead 52-41.

King-Davis hit a bucket on the next possession, and it was the last time Delaware was within single digits for the remainder of the contest.

Trice connected for six straight points, Payne made a jumper to push MSU's lead to 13, and Trice capped another burst with a triple and the Spartans were up 69-50 at the midway point.

Michigan State gradually began to sit its starters, with Payne's final points coming on two free throws with just under four minutes to play.

UD was up 6-2 in the early stages thanks to consecutive 3-pointers from Saddler and Threatt.

Game Notes

Payne became the first Spartan to reach the 40-point mark since Shawn Respert totaled 40 against Indiana in 1995 ... He also set a Michigan State NCAA tournament record for points in a single game, eclipsing the 34-point performance by Greg Kelser in 1979 against Notre Dame ... The Spartans were 10-of-19 from beyond the arc and shot 53.6 percent (30-of-56) from the floor for the game, while the Blue Hens connected on 20-of-55 field goals and only 8-of-20 from long range ... Delaware has yet to win in five tries (1992-93, 1998-99, 2014) in the premier college postseason tourney.

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