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No. 21 Spartans find way to upset down stretch

ATLANTA — Looking to bounce back, Michigan State turned to its top returning scorer from last season.

Keith Appling came through.

Hitting two huge shots down the stretch — one a 3-pointer, the other on an acrobatic drive — Appling carried the No. 21 Spartans to a 67-64 upset of No. 7 Kansas on Tuesday night in a star-studded doubleheader at the Georgia Dome.

"The offense was kind of stagnant, so I wanted to make a play the best way I possible could," said Appling, who led Michigan State with 19 points. "From there, it was all she wrote."

The Spartans (1-1) were coming off of a surprising loss to Connecticut in Germany. The Jayhawks (1-1) led 59-54 with 5 minutes left, showing signs of taking control. But freshman Gary Harris, who scored 18, had back-to-back baskets in an 8-0 run.

NO. 9 DUKE 75, NO. 3 KENTUCKY 68: Seth Curry had 23 points as the Blue Devils held off a comeback against the national champions in the nightcap of the Atlanta doubleheader. Duke (1-1) had a 13-3 run, capped by Rasheed Sulaimon's 3-pointer for a 58-44 lead. But Kentucky (1-1) outscored Duke 17-6 in the next six minutes and had a chance to tie it; Julius Mays missed a 3-pointer with the Blue Devils clinging to a 64-61 lead.

NO. 5 MICHIGAN 77, CLEVELAND ST. 47: Tim Hardaway Jr. had 17 points and six rebounds for the host Wolverines (3-0) in the NIT Season Tip-Off quarterfinals.

NO. 14 MISSOURI 91, ALCORN ST. 54: Phil Pressey scored 21 and Laurence Bowers added 14, all in the second half, for the host Tigers (2-0).

NO. 23 UCONN 67, VERMONT 49: Shabazz Napier scored all of his 13 points in the second half as the Huskies (2-0) rolled in their home opener.

NO. 24 CINCINNATI 102, MVSU 60: Sean Kilpatrick scored 13 of his 20 points in the second half for the host Bearcats (2-0).

NO. 25 SAN DIEGO ST. 91, S.D. Chr. 57: Jamaal Franklin scored 28 in the first half for the Aztecs (1-1) against their suburban NAIA neighbor. The NCAA suspended Aztecs freshman forward Winston Shepard for three games for violating an unspecified rule.

FGCU 63, MIAMI 51: Sherwood Brown and Eric McKnight scored 14 apiece for Florida Gulf Coast (1-1) before the Eagles' first men's sellout, 4,552 fans at Alico Arena. Shane Larkin led Miami (1-1) with 14 points.

UCF 85, ALABAMA STATE 56: Isaiah Sykes had 23 points and Keith Clanton 20 for the host Knights (2-0).

LATE MONDAY: Gary Bell Jr. scored 15 as No. 19 Gonzaga crushed visiting West Virginia 84-50.

Bulls women win in OT

Andrea Smith scored five of USF's six points in overtime, and twin sister Andrell Smith had career bests of 26 points and six 3-pointers as the Bulls beat host Clemson 75-73. Andrell Smith scored 20 in the first half for USF (2-0). Her layup with 52 seconds left in regulation tied it at 69, the eighth and final tie of the second half. "I don't think we found her as much as we should have," USF coach Jose Fernandez said.

NO. 1 BAYLOR 85, NO. 6 KENTUCKY 51: Brittney Griner had 27 points and eight rebounds as the host Bears (2-0) routed the Wildcats (1-1) in what was expected to be a test.

NO. 22 OKLA. ST. 74, MISSOURI ST. 71: Liz Donohoe scored 24 and Tiffany Bias made four free throws in the final 24 seconds for visiting Oklahoma State (2-0).

No. 21 Spartans find way to upset down stretch 11/13/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 14, 2012 12:25am]
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