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(Saturday, December 1st)
Final Score: (13) Michigan State 84, Nicholls State 39
East Lansing, MI (Sports Network) - Keith Appling scored 13 points and Adriean Payne added 10 with 12 rebounds, leading 13th-ranked Michigan State to an 84-39 rout of Nicholls State at the Breslin Center.
Gary Harris and Denzel Valentine each scored 11 points for the Spartans (6-2), who never trailed and bounced back with a dominant effort after a 67-59 loss at Miami-Florida on Wednesday.
T.J. Carpenter scored 11 points to lead Nicholls State (1-3), which was coming off its first win of the season on Monday against New Orleans. The Colonels were missing leading scorer Fred Hunter because of knee swelling and starting forward Lachlan Prest because of illness, and had just eight players available.
"It's hard to evaluate that game," said Michigan State coach Tom Izzo. "You have to give them (Nicholls State) a little credit that one of their best players didn't play and that hurt them, and left it a little bit hard to evaluate for us."
The Spartans scored the first six points of the game, but Nicholls State drew within 10-9 on a three by Sterling Bailey with just over 12 minutes left in the first half. The Colonels managed just four more points before the intermission.
Michigan State closed the half with the final 17 points to build a 37-13 cushion. The Spartans shot 53.3 percent over the first 20 minutes and converted 15 Nicholls State turnovers into 20 points.
The lead quickly reached 33 points early in the second half on a triple by Appling. The Colonels got only as close as 27 from there and trailed by as many as 46 in the final minute.
"Unfortunately we are decimated right now with some injuries and sickness," said Nicholls State coach J.P. Piper. "I don't know if we could have come in here and won a game, but I think we could have been more competitive than what you saw."
Appling, who also had six assists, has led the Spartans in scoring seven times in the team's first eight games ... Michigan State has won all three meetings. This was the closest margin, as the Spartans won the first matchup in 2001 by 54 points and the most recent in 2004 by 50.
12/01 16:52:06 ET
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