GRAND RAPIDS — The M State men’s basketball team played close with the hosting Itasca Vikings, but the Spartans could not keep pace in the second half as Itasca claimed an 80-69 victory Tuesday.

The two teams battled in the first half with Itasca taking a 29-26 lead into the break.

Both teams came out ready to roll in the second half, but despite the Spartans scoring 43 points in the half, the Vikings would drop in 51.

Zakaria Zaid led the Spartans in scoring with 14 points and grabbed nine rebounds. Teammate Alex Hendricks dropped in 11 off the bench.

The Spartans will now participate in the Central Lakes College Classic over the weekend. M State will play host Central Lakes Friday and then Lake Superior College Saturday.

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