Michigan State's reward for a 30-point victory against Howard is a full-scale practice Saturday.
"We had planned to have a walk-through [Saturday] morning, but now I think it's going to be a full practice," Coach Tom Izzo said after the No. 8 Spartans defeated the Bison, 75-45, tonight in the first round of the Spartan Classic.
"I can't say I'm really excited about this game. [Former coach] Jud Heathcote used to say that some teams are not good about handling prosperity. What we did well against North Carolina [in a 86-76 victory Wednesday], we didn't do well against Howard."
Michigan State guard Charlie Bell agreed.
"Not to take anything away from Howard, but I thought we played to the level of our competition," Bell said. "We played a lot better at North Carolina."
Howard Coach Kirk Saulny seemed more enthused about his team's performance.
"They're bigger, stronger and faster than we are," Saulny said. "What we got out of this game is a recognition of what it takes to run an offense against one of the best teams in the country. If we can run a cross screen against Michigan State, you can do it against Coppin State."
Jason Richardson led the Spartans with a season-high 16 points. Andre Hutson had 14 points and 10 rebounds, Morris Peterson scored 13 points, and Charlie Bell had 11.
Izzo was pleased with Bell's performance.
"If this was hockey, he'd get the number one star," Izzo said. "He ran the team well, played outstanding defense and got a lot of loose balls."
The Spartans (5-1) will face Eastern Michigan in Saturday's championship game. The Bison will play Loyola (Ill.) in the consolation game.
Jonathan Stokes led Howard (0-3) with 16 points, and Jermaine Holliway added 10.
Michigan State had a 54-23 rebounding advantage against the much smaller Howard squad, which has lost 28 of its last 30 games covering the last two seasons.
A 28-5 run gave Michigan State a 34-12 lead, and the first half ended with the Spartans holding a 36-19 advantage.
Howard was ahead 7-6 after a three-point basket by Stokes, but the Bison had a long dry spell after that, making only one field goal in the next 13 minutes, including 11 straight misses.
Michigan State shot 46 percent in the first half to Howard's 30 percent and the Spartans had a 29-8 rebounding edge. It didn't get any better for the Bison in the second half as Michigan State's lead reached 37 points before Izzo cleared his bench.
CAPTION: Aloysius Anagonye powers to basket between Nick Dodson, left, and Bryen Alvin. No. 8 Spartans got off to slow start after upsetting UNC on Wednesday.