No. 15 Michigan State tops Oakland
East Lansing, MI (Sports Network) - Keith Appling scored 20 points and pulled down six rebounds as No. 15 Michigan State downed Oakland, 70-52, in a non- conference tussle at Breslin Center.
Adreian Payne totaled 15 points and nine boards, with Denzel Valentine adding 10 points and as many rebounds along with six assists for the Spartans (4-1), who have won four in a row.
Duke Mondy scored 16 points on just 6-of-20 shooting for the Golden Grizzlies (2-4), who have dropped three of four. Corey Petros had 14 points, nine rebounds and three steals in a losing cause.
Mondy scored seven straight points, including a three-pointer, to reduce Oakland's deficit to 55-51 with 6:36 to play.
The triple was the punctuation of a 12-4 run, but Appling countered with a trey of his own, Payne connected on a field goal and Nix made two buckets to fuel a game-ending 15-1 burst. Payne added a slam and Appling sank two free throws to account for the final margin.
The visitors' only salvo was a Drew Valentine free throw, as Oakland missed its final 12 shots from the field in the final six-plus minutes.
An early 9-1 run by the Spartans broke a deadlock, and when Appling hit a layup, it was 18-9 with 9:03 left in the first half.
Russell Byrd's shot from beyond the arc pushed the hosts' lead into double digits for the first time at 26-16, and the margin grew to 34-19 on two free throws from Valentine before a Mondy bucket forged a 13-point deficit for the Grizzlies at the break.
Michigan State held its foes at arm's length until the midway point of the second half, as Oakland almost worked its way out of a 12-point hole.
Michigan State has won all 11 meetings with Oakland ... Mondy recorded a game- best six steals in defeat ... The Spartans committed 20 turnovers and only forced 11 ... The Grizzlies finished 16-of-58 (27.6 percent) from the field, compared to 53.1 percent (26-of-49) for the victorious Spartans.
11/23 23:27:57 ET