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Michigan State

No. 15 MSU Beats Louisiana-Lafayette 63-60

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Keith Appling #11 of the Michigan State Spartans tries to dribble around Bryant Mbamalu #0 of the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns. November 25, 2012. (Getty Images/Gregory Shamus)

Keith Appling #11 of the Michigan State Spartans tries to dribble around Bryant Mbamalu #0 of the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns. November 25, 2012. (Getty Images/Gregory Shamus)

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EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) – Keith Appling scored 19 points to help sluggish Michigan State survive a scare and beat Louisiana-Lafayette 63-60 on Sunday.

Appling, who has scored at least 17 points in every game except one this season, was 4 for 11 from the field. But he made other plays at key times, hitting 10 free throws and adding six rebounds and five assists for the No. 15 Spartans (5-1).

He also had help from several teammates. Branden Dawson scored 11 points and Brandan Kearney had a career-high 10 off the bench. Adreian Payne had 10 rebounds.

Elfrid Payton had 20 points for the Ragin’ Cajuns (2-4). Shawn Long added 16 points, and Kevin Brown had 14. But Louisiana-Lafayette shot just 11 of 21 from the foul line, which may have cost it a major upset.

Payton missed a contested 3 in the closing seconds that would have tied it, and the Ragin’ Cajuns’ rally from a 10-point deficit fell short. Michigan State helped Louisiana-Lafayette get back in the game by committing 14 of its 20 turnovers in the second half.

Appling’s two free throws put the Spartans up 60-50 with 3:09 left. But more Michigan State miscues kept the outcome in doubt.

Brown hit a 3-pointer with 1:42 to go to pull the Ragin’ Cajuns within four. Then his putback after another turnover cut the deficit to 62-60 with 56.3 seconds remaining.

Michigan State led 33-27 at halftime behind eight points from Kearney, one more than his previous career high.

The Spartans have won 65 of their last 66 non-conference home games and haven’t lost at home in November since a defeat by David Robinson-led Navy 26 years ago.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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