EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP)—Chris Allen picked up where he left off last season.
This time, though, Michigan State won.
Allen scored a career-high 21 points, leading the sixth-ranked Spartans to a 100-62 win over Idaho on Sunday night, giving them a 32nd straight win in their home opener.
The sophomore guard had 20 points in his previous game, when Memphis routed Michigan State in the NCAA tournament.
Allen made a pair of 3-pointers and a spectacular, reverse layup in the first 6 1/2 minutes, then went scoreless the rest of the half.
“Coach told me before the second half started to stay aggressive,” Allen said.
He scored 13 points after halftime, making a three-point play and a 3-pointer in less than a minute to put the Spartans ahead by 32 midway through the second half.
“In the second half, he looked so much more aggressive with the ball,” coach Tom Izzo said. “That was one of the best halves of basketball Chris has played.”
Allen’s teammates weren’t too shabby, either.
Raymar Morgan also scored 21 points, Kalin Lucas had 13 points, nine assists and no turnovers and Goran Suton added 10 points.
The Spartans played 15 players and just three of them were scoreless as they shot 60 percent overall and was 11-of-21 from the 3-point line. They also played man-to-man, full-court defense that led to 22 turnovers.
“Their pressure was really good, as good as I’ve seen,” Idaho’s first-year coach Don Verlin said. “They worked us full-court and really wore us out.
“They also ran the break better than any Michigan State team I’ve ever seen. They as deep as I’ve seen a Michigan State team. Their depth is unbelievable.”
Mac Hopson had 13 points and Brandon Wiley scored 10 for the Vandals (1-1).
Michigan State ran away with the game and didn’t let up, just as it did in outscoring Northern Michigan and Lake Superior State 230-126 in exhibition games.
“What we saw tonight was a top-five team or maybe better than that,” Verlin said.
Allen’s second 3-pointer put the Spartans ahead 12-1, they led 25-4 and were ahead 54-29 at halftime.
After Idaho got within 19 points, Michigan State went on a 22-2 run to take an 83-44 lead.
The Vandals gave up 100 points for the first time since 1991, ending a 491-game streak of keeping team under the century mark.
The Spartans won their 35th consecutive win against a non-conference opponent, trailing just Duke (62) and Sam Houston State (33) in that category.
It will be tough for them to extend that run over the next month.
After playing at Indiana-Purdue-Fort Wayne on Wednesday, Michigan State will face a stretch of games that would be tough for any team in college basketball to top in terms of difficulty.
The Spartans will play Maryland on Thanksgiving, then will face No. 10 Gonzaga or Oklahoma State and potentially No. 14 Tennessee or 22nd-ranked Georgetown in a three-game tournament.
A few days later, Michigan State will meet with top-ranked North Carolina at Ford Field in Detroit—the site of the Final Four.
“Playing Idaho prepared us for those games because it gave us another chance to figure out how we’re going to use our depth,” Lucas said. “We’re going to need everybody to beat those teams.”
The Spartans and Tar Heels lead the nation with 114 games against ranked opponents since the 1997-98 season.
Idaho opened its season with a 91-69 victory over Evergreen State, an NAIA school, then traveled across the country to get routed and collect a hefty paycheck.
“I’d like to thank Michigan State for inviting us here and kicking our tails,” Verlin said.
Idaho fell to 0-16 against ranked teams since the start of the 1999-2000 season, but Verlin was still coaching in the final minute.
After Brandon Brown made a jumper with 45 seconds left, he was benched and screamed at by Verlin.
“He went 1-on-1 and didn’t execute the play we called, so that was the message,” Verlin said.
Izzo will also be delivering a message to the Spartans in upcoming practices after they were outrebounded 33-31.
“One way or another, we’re not going to lose any more rebounding battles,” Izzo said.