By Larry Lage
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Miles Bridges started his sophomore season strong with 20 points and 10 rebounds, helping No. 2 Michigan State beat North Florida 98-66 on Friday night in a tuneup for a highly anticipated game.
The Spartans will play No. 1 Duke on Tuesday night in Chicago.
Michigan State took control against the Ospreys with a 19-0 run midway through the first half, led by 26 at halftime and coasted to a lopsided win in the opener for both teams.
North Florida’s Ivan Gandia-Rosa had 19 points, Garrett Sams scored 13 and Wajid Aminu added 10 points.
Freshman Jaren Jackson had 13 points, 13 rebounds and four blocks in his debut with the Spartans. Nick Ward scored 11 of his 16 points in the first 7-plus minutes of the game. Joshua Langford scored 13 points and Cassius Winston had 12 points and eight assists.
Bridges, the leading vote-getter for The Associated Press preseason All-America team, seemed to be more interested in setting up teammates for shots than getting his own early in the game. He scored in a variety of ways later in the game, including a layup after going around his back with the basketball as he went up for the shot.
North Florida: The Atlantic Sun Conference team can be proud of the way it challenged one of the nation’s top teams at the start of each half.
Michigan State: The Spartans missed all six of their 3-point attempts in the first half.
North Florida: Stays in state, traveling about 60 miles to play at Michigan on Saturday night.
Michigan State: Faces an early test, matching up with the Blue Devils.
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