EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Becca Mills scored 20 points as No. 21 Michigan State forced 20 turnovers and defeated Rice 81-68 with a breakaway second half on Saturday night.
Neither team led by more than five points in a close first half, and Rice (3-3) opened the second with a Megan Palmer layup for a 32-32 tie. The Spartans then exploded on a 12-2 run featuring 3-pointers by Klarissa Bell and Kiana Johnson.
Johnson finished with 15 points, Bell 10 and Annalise Pickrel 14 for Michigan State (4-1).
The Owls made one more run, cutting the lead to 55-51 at 9:34 on 3-pointers by Alyssa Lang and Elena Gumbs, but Michigan State pulled steadily away 26-17 the rest of the way.
Jessica Kuster led Rice with 19 points and 13 rebounds, Christal Porter added 12 points, Reem Moussa 11 and Palmer finished with 10.
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