EAST LANSING, Mich. — Sophomore guard Terran Petteway scored 23 points, including 16 in the second half, to lead Nebraska to a 60-51 upset of No. 9 Michigan State on Sunday at the Breslin Center.
Sophomore forward Walter Pitchford scored a career-high 18 points for the Cornhuskers (14-10 overall, 6-6 Big Ten), who defeated the Spartans for the first time in five games since joining the Big Ten. Sophomore forward Shavon Shields, coming off a career-high 33-point performance against Illinois on Wednesday, chipped in seven points and eight rebounds as Nebraska won for the fifth time in six games.
Sophomore guard Gary Harris’ 18 points led Michigan State (21-5, 10-3), which squandered an opportunity to take sole possession of first place in the conference. Wisconsin surprised Michigan, which shares the Big Ten lead, 75-62 earlier in the afternoon.
Forward Adreian Payne had 11 points and nine rebounds for Michigan State. Senior point guard Keith Appling, who missed the previous three games with a right wrist sprain, played 19 minutes off the bench but only contributed two points and one assist.
Pitchford scored the first two baskets of the second half to give the Cornhuskers a 36-25 lead. The Spartans used a 9-2 run, capped by two Harris free throws, to pull within 40-36 with nine minutes remaining.
A Petteway 3-pointer bumped Nebraska’s advantage up to nine, 48-39. After Michigan State cut the deficit to four once again, Petteway drained another 3-pointer from the right wing to make it 51-44.
Payne’s turnaround jumper in the lane with four minutes left sliced Nebraska’s lead to 51-49. Petteway’s 3-pointer from the top of the key with 2:32 remaining gave the Cornhuskers some breathing room and a 54-49 lead, and his fast-break layup with 1:08 left made it 56-51.
Nebraska then closed out the victory with free throws.
NOTES: Michigan State now leads the all-time series 12-7. Nebraska’s only previous victory at East Lansing was an 85-81 triumph on Dec. 18, 1993. … The Cornhuskers have won 11 of their last 13 games decided by five points or less. … Nebraska had lost its last 21 games to ranked teams on the road. Its most recent road win over a ranked opponent prior to Sunday was a 69-59 victory over No. 22 Texas A&M on Feb. 23, 2008, when it was still a member of the Big 12. … The Spartans have used 13 lineups over the last 21 games. … The Spartans have scored at least 10 unanswered points in 14 of 26 games, including their 11-0 first-half outburst on Sunday.
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