Bell's Feat Is Magic-al

Michigan State's Charlie Bell (14) gets fouled while driving the lane against Oakland. AP

Charlie Bell and Magic Johnson have more in common than just a national championship ring from Michigan State.

They are the only two players in Spartan history to record triple-doubles.

Bell had 13 points, 10 assists and 11 rebounds to lead the No. 3 Spartans to a 97-61 win over Oakland (Mich.) University on Sunday in their season opener.

Bell said it is an honor to have share such a distinction with Johnson.

"That's the greatest point guard ever at Michigan State and in the NBA," Bell said. "To have my name mentioned with him is great. He had a (eight) of them, so I have more to get."

Michigan State coach Tom Izzo was impressed with Bell's performance.

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  • "Here's a kid who really wasn't a point guard or even considered a passing guard," Izzo said. "Everybody knew he could rebound and score. I would almost call it a quardruple-double because I really think the defense he played might have been what won the game.

    "I think he's the best rebounding guard in the country and one of the best defensive guards in the country. You look at all the preseason hype and he's never in the defensive player of the year category. If there's a better defensive guard, I want to see him."

    Bell wasn't the only Spartan to ensure that Oakland wouldn't earn a second upset in the state this weekend after it beat Michigan 97-90 Friday at home.

    Jason Richardson scored a career-high 25 points on an array of dunks, 3-pointers and driving layups. Richardson also had a career-high eight assists.

    The 6-foot-6 sophomore was 9-of-14 overall and 3-of-5 on 3-pointers.

    Richardson did little more than dunk last season, but during the summer he effectively worked on shooting 3-pointers and creating shots off the dribble.

    "I'm happy to show that I can do more than just dunk," Richardson said"I took over 1,000 shots every day during the offseason."

    The only tension for Michigan State came in the few awkward moments it took to unveil the "NCAA Champions 2000" banner in the rafters.

    A 29-5 run midway through the first half gave the Spartans a 43-13 lead, which it was able to easily maintain. Richardson ignited the burst with eight straight points and closed it with a 19-footer.

    Dan Buddenborg led Oakland (1-1) with 21 points. Kelly Williams added 10 points.

    Oakland coach Greg Kampe said the Spartans will be better than they were the last two years because they're a better shooting team with more depth that will continue to concentrate on defense and rebounding.

    That being said, Kampe was still disappointed with how his team played after beating Michigan.

    "I think after Friday night we felt we could do a little better here," Kampe said. "I don't think we had any thoughts coming in here and winning, but I thought we would be able compete better."


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