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Spartans down Wolverines

Michigan State won its fourth straight as Morris Peterson had 32 points and 10 rebounds in the eighth-ranked Spartans' 82-62 victory over Michigan Tuesday night.

Mateen Cleaves, playing his eighth game since recovering from a broken foot, had 19 points and six assists for the Spartans. Andre Hutson added 10 points and 10 rebounds for the two-time defending Big Ten champions.

It was the third straight loss for the Wolverines, who were playing without freshman Jamal Crawford, their leading scorer. Crawford was told just before warmups that the NCAA was investigating his living arrangements before enrolling at Michigan.

Freshman LaVell Blanchard scored 16 points for the Wolverines.

This was trademark rough and tumble Big Ten basketball with plenty of bumping, flying bodies and floor burns as Michigan's mostly freshman lineup tried to hold off the bigger Spartans, who are hoping to repeat last season's NCAA tournament Final Four appearance.

Consecutive three-pointers by Cleaves, Peterson and A.J. Granger helped Michigan State open a 19-8 lead midway through the first half. But Brandon Smith had six points in a 10-0 run as the Wolverines closed the gap to 19-18.

Another three-pointer by Cleaves gave Michigan State a 37-27 lead with 3:14 left in the half, but the Spartans, turning the ball over three times, made only one free throw the rest of the way for a 38-32 halftime lead.

Peterson, with two three-pointers, scored eight points to help Michigan State open the second half with a 12-2 run for a 52-34 lead with 14:30 remaining.

Michigan closed to 52-41 on a three-point play by Chris Young with 11:28 left, but the Spartans _ getting five from Cleaves _ responded with an 8-0 burst for a 60-41 lead with 9:21 to play. Hutson's basket inside gave Michigan State a 66-47 lead with 7:00 remaining.

Peterson's three-pointer with 1:57 left made it 80-60 and the Spartans, who outrebounded Michigan 39-29, called timeout to clear the bench.

Crawford, averaging 16.6 points per game, was on the court at Crisler Arena about an hour before the 7 p.m. tipoff. But he was missing when the teams came out about 20 minutes before the game for warmups.

When the Wolverines took the court just before tipoff, Crawford wore a warmup suit, his trademark headband, and street shoes.

The school "must declare any athlete ineligible when there is a question of potential NCAA rules violation," Michigan said in a release. "Tonight, the NCAA reinstatement committee called to inform the Michigan Athletic Department that they were not going to reach a decision in regards to this question. The case is still under review by the NCAA."


MIAMI 64, PITTSBURGH 60: In Miami, Vernon Jennings scored 14 points, including six during a critical second-half run. John Salmons' driving layup gave the Hurricanes a 62-59 lead with 47 seconds left. Pittsburgh then missed three straight three-point attempts before Leroy Hurd sealed Miami's fourth straight Big East victory with two free throws.

UCLA's Rush suspended

LOS ANGELES: UCLA said it will appeal the NCAA penalties imposed on sophomore forward JaRon Rush, who has been suspended a total of 44 games for taking money and benefits from a sports agent and his former AAU coach. The NCAA informed UCLA Tuesday that Rush will be suspended for the equivalent of one full season. Since Rush has already missed the Bruins' past 15 games this season in a school-imposed discipline, the NCAA's penalties mean he'll also miss the final 12 games this season and the first 17 games of next season.