Appling leads Spartans to rout of New Orleans

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Updated: December 28, 2013

East Lansing, MI (SportsNetwork.com) – Keith Appling poured in a game-high 27
points and added eight assists and five rebounds to lead fifth-ranked Michigan
State to a 101-48 win over New Orleans.

Gary Harris had 19 points, nine rebounds, five assists and five steals for
Michigan State (11-1), which has won four straight. Adreian Payne scored 17
points and grabbed seven rebounds, while Denzel Valentine added 10 points, 13
rebounds and six assists.

“Really proud of the way Keith played today. As I said, he has a double-double
if we make a couple more shots. Those eight assists and one turnover, guarding
very well, hitting his threes, getting in the lane, getting fouled, and doing
all that with only 10 shots being taken is very efficient.” said Michigan
State head coach Tom Izzo about Appling.

“I think the reason for it; number one he’s really played well most of the
year. I think the game has slowed down and I think he’s looked at the game
more who can I get the ball to and it just kind of opened up everything else.

“It’s been amazing. Really happy for Keith because he works at it, he’s a
tough, tough kid; spends a lot of time in here, and he’s starting to get some
of the benefits that all that hard work has done for him.”

Matt Derenbecker netted 16 points and Cory Dixon contributed 11 points and
seven rebounds for the Privateers (3-5), who had a two-game win streak
snapped.

“I think he’s undersold a lot. Being from the Midwest, I’m still a little bit
of a Big Ten junkie. I still secretly sneak watching Big Ten stuff. I think he
has always been a little underrated on the national scene,” said New Orleans
head coach Mark Slessinger of Appling. “We didn’t stop him in transition and
we couldn’t make quick decisions.

“He played a very, very efficient game today. We didn’t contain him when we
needed to and he got to the free throw line. His size and strength was key
against our smaller guards.”

The Privateers led or remained within four points in the first 10-plus
minutes. But the Spartans appeared to wake up and put 12 straight through the
twine to go ahead 21-10.

Michigan State, starting with around six minutes left in the first, again
netted 12 unanswered points to take a 40-21 lead and headed into the half with
a 44-27 advantage.

Payne scored six straight for the Spartans for a 66-38 lead. After a Dixon
jumper with 8:58 to play, Michigan State scored 21 unanswered to make it
89-42.

It was smooth sailing to the finish through the final four minutes for the
Spartans.

Game Notes

Michigan State opens Big Ten play at Penn State on Tuesday … The Privateers
face Southland foe Nicholls State on Thursday … The Spartans went 16-of-24
from the foul line, while New Orleans went 3-of-10 from the charity stripe …
Michigan State outrebounded New Orleans 54 to 31 … The Spartans have won 75
of their last 77 non-conference home games.