Michigan State barely gets by Louisiana-Lafayette
Ragin' Cajuns nearly rage to upset
No. 19 Michigan State 63, Louisiana-Lafayette 60: Keith Appling had 19 points and the host Spartans held off a late rally by the Ragin' Cajuns to earn their fifth straight victory.
Michigan State (5-1) led throughout the contest and went up 11 with just over three minutes to play, but Louisiana-Lafayette nearly pulled off the upset.
Appling also had six rebounds, five assists and two steals, while Branden Dawson chipped in with 12 points and eight boards for the Spartans. Michigan State had trouble from long range, connecting on just 5-of-16 of its 3-point attempts.
Louisiana-Lafayette's Elfrid Payton led all scorers with 20 points to go with his six rebounds and seven steals. The Ragin' Cajuns (2-4) also received 16 points and eight boards from Shawn Long and 14 points from Kevin Brown.
The Ragin' Cajuns were able to stay in the game by forcing 20 Michigan State turnovers. Despite a major size disadvantage, Louisiana-Lafayette was also able to stay with the Spartans on the boards, losing the rebound battle by a 33-28 margin.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Michigan State center Adreian Payne, who was struggling with foul trouble, was able to play more than 20 minutes in a game for only the second time this year. … Louisiana-Lafayette trailed at halftime for the fifth time in six games this season. … After four straight home games, Michigan State hits the road to face Miami in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge on Wednesday. Louisiana-Lafayette hosts Middle Tennessee State on Thursday.