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Spartans' Brown scores 23 of his 29 in the second half

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- Shannon Brown followed instructions
and his teammates followed him.

"All Coach Izzo said at halftime was, 'It's time for you to
take over," Brown said. "All I said was, 'I got you."

Brown scored 23 of his 29 points in the second half to lift Michigan State (No. 12 ESPN/USA Today, No. 11 AP), playing without center Paul Davis, to a 69-60
victory over Penn State on Saturday.

"Shannon Brown does have a knack for rising to the occasion in
big games," Spartans coach Tom Izzo said. "He kind of thrives on
the pressure. When I told him he had to take over a little bit, he
did it in such a controlled way -- even with that dunk he had, one
of the best I've ever seen here."

Brown had 10 points in the first 4½ minutes of the second half
for the Spartans (16-5, 4-3 Big Ten), who shot 61 percent from the
field after halftime as they barely recovered from Wednesday's
crushing loss at Michigan.

"Whew, that was close," Brown said. "We missed a lot of great
shots and a lot of rebounds. We had to do something. And that dunk
I had was an energizing thing. When the crowd went crazy, my
teammates went crazy."

Drew Neitzel of Michigan State had 16 of his career-high 19
points in the second half, including two big 3-pointers late. He
and Brown had all 14 of the Spartans' second-half baskets.

"In the first half I wasn't shooting the ball," Neitzel said.
"Coach said we were shooting so many 3s. And we were. But they
were all good looks. I thought 99 percent of them were going to
fall."

Michigan State was an uncharacteristic 11-for-30 beyond the arc
against Penn State's zone. Neitzel was 5-for-8 and Brown was
4-for-8, but Maurice Ager, the league's No. 2 scorer, was 2-for-13
from long range.

"I had more open looks than I've had all season," Ager said
after a 3-for-19 day overall. "Those other two guys stepped up and
saved me, no question. After the game I thanked them big-time."

Davis, fifth in the Big Ten in scoring and second in rebounding,
did not play after feeling lightheaded before the game. He was
elbowed in the head by teammate Idong Ibok at Friday's practice and
had 10 stitches.

Geary Claxton had 19 points and Mike Walker added 13 for the
Nittany Lions (10-8, 2-5), who looked nothing like the team that
lost by 29 points at Wisconsin on Wednesday.

With no starter taller than 6-foot-6, Penn State took full
advantage of Davis' absence and a 3-for-14 shooting first half by
the struggling Ager to take a 32-27 halftime lead.

"We competed hard and had a chance to win," Penn State coach
Ed DeChellis said. "We had the lead and couldn't hit a shot when
we needed it. And we couldn't find Shannon Brown in the second
half."

Brown brought Michigan State back with 3-pointers, spectacular
dunks and free throws before Neitzel finished the job. But the
Nittany Lions still led 58-57 before Ager hit two free throws to
trigger a 12-2 run.

Penn State outrebounded Michigan State 36-30 but fell to 0-15 in
the series. DeChellis dropped to 0-9 against Izzo.

"When you play a game like that against a guy as classy as Ed
DeChellis and your team struggles the way we did, you almost feel
bad about winning," Izzo said. "It wasn't pretty. But we found a
way to get it done."