EAST LANSING, Mich. - Keith Appling matched a career high with 25 points to help No. 1 Michigan State pull away to beat Portland 82-67 on Monday night in its first game as a top-ranked team in 13 years.
The Spartans (4-0) struggled in the first half, leading by four points after seven lead changes and three ties.
Travis Trice's 3-pointer broke a tie with 12:26 left and he followed that up seconds later with a steal and layup. Garry Harris made a 3-pionter -- the team's 11th from behind the arc -- midway through the second half that put Michigan State ahead by 10 points for the first time.
The Pilots (1-2) were balanced on offense with Kevin Bailey leading the way with 12 points and pesky on defense and the boards.
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