The reigning No. 1 team in the country blew by Virginia Tech as Michigan State beat the Hokies, 96-77, on Friday night. Adreian Payne had a career-high 29 points for Sparty, who will play Oklahoma on Saturday in the final of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic.
Virginia Tech hung tough early, getting great shooting from Jarell Eddie on his way to 23 points. The senior hit four first-half threes, but the Spartans closed the half with a 15-3 run behind the deep shooting of Payne. The future first-round NBA draft pick hit four triples and added 10 rebounds to his spectacular night.
Four Michigan State players scored in double digits, with Gary Harris leading the rest with 19. The other NBA talent on Tom Izzo's roster, Harris opened the game missing his first 10 three-point attempts. He settled down as the Spartans cruised, hitting a pair of threes late in the second half.
The only other contributor for the Hokies was Adam Smith, who tallied 27 points in the losing effort.