No. 15 Michigan State vs. Oakland final score: Spartans hold off Grizzlies in 70-52 victory

Gregory Shamus

Oakland put a scare into Michigan State on Friday night, but the Spartans pulled away at the end of the game.

The Oakland Golden Grizzlies narrowed a 13-point halftime deficit to four points with 6:36 left in their game against the Michigan St. Spartans, but a run by Tom Izzo's club extended that narrow lead to a 70-52 victory. The Spartans were led by guard Keith Appling, who scored 20 points on 7-for-15 shooting to go along with six rebounds and two assists. Three other Spartans -- Adreian Payne, Derrick Nix and Denzel Valentine -- were in double-figures, but it was their defense that powered them to victory.

The Grizzlies shot just 27 percent from the field and went 3 for 21 from three-point range, with guards Duke Mondy and Travis Bader combining to shoot 8 for 33 from the field by themselves. Oakland's saving graces were the free throw line, where they shot 17-24, and turnovers -- they handed the ball over to the Spartans just 11 times while compiling 17 steals of their own.

In the end, though, Michigan State's ability to put the ball in the basket was enough to push them ahead. The Spartans will host the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns on Sunday before travelling to face the Miami Hurricanes in Coral Gables, Fla.

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