Men's College Basketball
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                  === Nix helps Michigan State down Texas ===
 
 East  Lansing,  MI (Sports Network)  - Derrick Nix  poured in a career-high 25
 points  to go with  11 rebounds on Saturday, as No. 20 Michigan State held off
 Texas, 67-56, at Breslin Center.
 
 Keith  Appling followed with 14 points and Adreian Payne donated 13 points and
 seven rebounds for the Spartans (11-2), who have won six straight.
 
 "It was a physical game both ways and Nix was the only guy that stepped up and
 did  the  things that  he was supposed  to do," Michigan  State coach Tom Izzo
 said. "He won the game for us and we went to him."
 
 Julien  Lewis led  the Longhorns (7-5) with 16 points, while Sheldon McClellan
 added  13  points for Texas, which  was coming off an impressive 85-67 triumph
 over No. 23 North Carolina on Wednesday.
 
 Michigan  State  jumped out to an  early 12-4 edge, but the Longhorns answered
 with  a  13-4 spurt capped  by Ioannis Papapetrou's  3-pointer to give Texas a
 17-16 advantage with 8:43 remaining in the opening half.
 
 Texas  held a  slim 25-24  edge with  three minutes  left in  the half  before
 McClellan  took over, pouring in his team's final eight points of the frame to
 help the Longhorns take a 33-28 lead into the locker room.
 
 The  Spartans came  out of the break energized, scoring the first eight points
 of the second half to grab a 36-33 advantage just over three minutes in.
 
 After  exchanging layups,  Lewis nailed a triple, tying the game at 38-38 with
 16 minutes left in the contest.
 
 The  Longhorns  went cold from  there as they failed  to register a field goal
 over  the  next five minutes,  allowing the Spartans to  rip off an 11-2 spurt
 capped  by Appling's  trey to make it  49-40 with just over 11 minutes left in
 the contest.
 
 The  lead  was up to 10  after a three-point  play from Nix, but the Longhorns
 scored 10 of the next 12 points to pull within 56-54 with 4:44 left.
 
 Texas,  though, went  the final four-plus minutes with just one field goal, as
 Michigan State closed the contest on an 11-2 spurt to secure the victory.
 
 "There  were  a lot of  opportunities up until the  last four minutes where we
 were  in  the position to win  a game," Texas  coach Rick Barnes said. "We got
 some things we wanted; we just weren't quite good enough."
 
 
                                   Game Notes
 
 The  all-time series is now tied, 4-4 ... Michigan State opens Big Ten play on
 Dec.  31  when it  visits No. 13  Minnesota ... Texas  guard Myck Kabongo, who
 accepted  impermissible  benefits  and  then falsified  statements  about  his
 actions, had his season-long ban reduced to 23 games by an appeals committee.
 
 12/22 19:12:13 ET

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