EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP)—Long before Jud Heathcote left Michigan State in 1995, he made sure veteran assistant Tom Izzo was hired as his successor.
Izzo and Heathcote now are tied atop the Michigan State record book with 340 victories after the No. 2 Spartans’ 90-60 win over Valparaiso on Sunday.
It’ll give the old friends something to discuss Sunday night, when Heathcote was to be inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in Kansas City. Izzo was catching a plane and headed for the ceremonies shortly after his Spartans (4-0) beat the Crusaders (1-3).
“I think it’ll make Jud feel good that his hand-picked successor is the one that at least tied his record,” Izzo said. “It’s kind of ironic on the day he goes into the Hall that I tie his record. Maybe that’s the way it’s supposed to be.”
Chris Allen scored 22 points to lead Michigan State and Kalin Lucas added 15.
Brandon Wood had 24 points for Valparaiso.
The game was a regional matchup in the Legends Classic. The Spartans head to Atlantic City, N.J., for a game Friday against Florida in the tournament semifinals.
Valparaiso coach Homer Drew said it was the Crusaders’ misfortune to run into the Spartans after Izzo was angry at his team for what he considered a lackluster effort in a victory over Toledo earlier this week.
“You just didn’t want to be this team on this given day playing Michigan State University,” Drew said. “It was kind of like a V-8 playing a V-4. Their engine ran faster and quicker than we did.”
The Spartans won their 43rd straight home game against nonconference opponents, extending a streak that started after a loss to Duke on Dec. 3, 2003.
Izzo, in his 15th season at Michigan State, has a 340-137 record highlighted by the 2000 national championship. He was an assistant to Heathcote before taking over the program.
Izzo’s teams are 38-0 at home in November.
Michigan State outran and outjumped a swarming Valparaiso zone during a 20-4 first-half run that gave the Spartans at 25-9 lead.
“We made sure we got off to a great start,” Lucas said.
The Spartans led by as many as 24 points in the first half and were ahead 46-28 at the break. Allen had 11 points in the first half.
Valparaiso got within 15 points early in the second half, but never seriously threatened Michigan State.
Valparaiso hasn’t shied away from tough competition, having lost a week ago at No. 6 North Carolina, 88-77.
Cory Johnson scored 16 points for the Crusaders, who shot 33 percent from the floor.
Delvon Roe had 10 points and 17 rebounds for Michigan State.
Raymar Morgan scored nine points for the Spartans after missing the Toledo game because of ankle and foot injuries.
Michigan State outrebounded Valparaiso, 45-31.