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Top 25: No. 20 Michigan State 67, Texas 56

Published December 22, 2012 3:54 pm

Top 25 basketball • The Spartans improved to 6-0 in games this month.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

East Lansing, Mich. • Derrick Nix had 25 points and 11 rebounds to help No. 20 Michigan State surge past Texas 67-56 on Saturday.

Nix was 7 for 10 from the field and 11 for 13 at the line, a major improvement for a 64.9 percent foul shooter.

Keith Appling had 14 points and Adreian Payne added 13 for the Spartans (11-2), who stayed perfect in six December games.

Julien Lewis scored 16 points and Sheldon McClellan had 13 for the Longhorns (7-5), who couldn't match the efficiency of their 85-67 win over North Carolina on Wednesday night.

Texas trailed 41-40 and had a chance to take a lead, but McClellan missed two free throws after a technical on Nix. The Spartans promptly grabbed a three-point lead on a jumper by Payne. They later made it 49-40 on two free throws by Nix and Appling's 3-pointer.

It was 54-44 when the Longhorns cut the lead in half. A three-point play by Ioannis Papapetrou made it a four-point game, and his jumper as the shot clock expired cut the margin to 56-54. After Payne and Appling built the lead back to six and Texas' Jonathan Holmes was called for charging, Nix added a free throw to build the lead back to seven.

Nix fittingly grabbed the game's last rebound, giving his team a 36-32 edge on the boards. That and 17 second-half free throws helped immensely. —