Men's College Basketball
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         === Appling, Payne push No. 8 Michigan State past Nebraska ===
 
 Lincoln,  NE  (Sports Network)  - Keith  Appling scored  16 points and Adreian
 Payne  filled out the  stat sheet with 15 points and 14 rebounds to help No. 8
 Michigan State outlast Nebraska, 73-64, on Saturday.
 
 Derrick  Nix also  registered a double-double with 13 points and 11 boards for
 the  Spartans (22-4,  11-2 Big  Ten), who  have won  five straight,  including
 knocking  off  rival  Michigan  in convincing  fashion  on  Tuesday.  Freshman
 Gary Harris netted 14 points on 5-of-6 shooting from the floor in the victory.
 
 "As  basketball players, you seem to get happy with success when you get a win
 like  that," Nix said of the slow start in relation to the win versus Michigan
 on  Tuesday.  "Our coaches do  a good job with  that. They hold us accountable
 every  day. It gets  tiring, but that's what we signed up for. We have to keep
 grinding."
 
 Dylan Talley had a game-high 28 points and Shavon Shields scored all of his 19
 points  in the  second half, to go  along with 13 rebounds for the Cornhuskers
 (12-14,  3-10), who  have lost two straight  and four of their last five games
 overall.
 
 Shields  brought Nebraska  within 41-40 on a jumper five-plus minutes into the
 second half, but that's the closest the Huskers would get. Michigan State then
 opened  things up  with a  12-2 surge  capped off  by Nix's  layup with  8 1/2
 minutes remaining making it 53-42.
 
 The  visitors  continued to  hold their  double-digit lead  as the game winded
 down,  although  Shields' 3-pointer from  the right  wing with just 46 seconds
 remaining briefly closed the deficit to 68-61. MSU, though, which finished the
 game  hitting  23-of-29  from  the  charity  stripe,  closed  the  contest  by
 connecting on 5-of-6 free throws to secure the victory.
 
 "They  were energized and  excited and I think they felt like they could win,"
 Nebraska  coach Tim  Miles said of his  team's effort. "I think they felt like
 they  should have beaten Michigan State last time. But Michigan State, they've
 got  a  Hall of  Fame coach, they've  got a great  program. That's why they're
 Michigan  State, tied  for first in the  league, and they win a game like this
 tonight when they're a little vulnerable."
 
 Harris' dunk around the midway point of the first half increased MSU's opening
 edge to 23-12, but the home team utilized a 9-2 swing to get within 25-21 with
 three  minutes remaining  before halftime. Each team then registered just four
 points  apiece to  close the first half,  and the Spartans took a 29-24 margin
 into the break.
 
 It  wasn't the best 20 minutes for either team shooting wise, as MSU connected
 on 11-of-25 field goals, compared to 9-of-28 for the Huskers.
 
                                   Game Notes
 
 Michigan State faces current No. 1, Indiana on Tuesday with first place up for
 grabs in the conference ... The visitors won the rebounding battle by a margin
 of  42-24 ... Appling  made 9-of-10 from the free throw line and Payne made 7-
 of-8  ... Nebraska  had  just four  other players  reach  the scoreboard,  all
 combined for a total of 17 points.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 02/17 00:24:32 ET

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