USA TODAY Sports
No. 8 Michigan State was in a dogfight early in the second half, but wound up defeating host Nebraska pretty comfortably on Saturday.
The No. 8 Michigan State Spartans found themselves in a battle on the road early in the second half against the Nebraska Cornhuskers, but pulled away late for a comfortable 73-64 win.
The Spartans (22-4, 11-2 Big 10) appeared on the verge of a blowout in the early going, jumping out to a quick 11-point lead midway through the first half. The Cornhuskers (12-14, 3-10 Big 10) fought hard to get back into it, trimming the deficit to just five at halftime and getting as close as one in the second half. But Michigan State used an 8-0 run to create some breathing room and cruised the rest of the way.
Keith Appling led the Spartans with 16 points despite shooting just 3-of-11 from the field. Appling knocked down 9-of-10 from the line and also added four assists. Adreian Payne and Derrick Nix both finished with double-doubles for Michigan State, who outrebounded Nebraska 41-23. With the victory, the Spartans pulled into a tie for first in the Big 10 with the Indiana Hoosiers.