On a day when his players committed a whopping 20 turnovers, Tom Izzo and the Michigan State Spartans narrowly avoided a disaster on Sunday with a 63-60 win over Louisiana-Lafayette at the Breslin Center.
Michigan State shot just 42.6 percent from the field as a team and took a six-point lead into the half, but struggled to make sound decisions with the ball over the game's final 20 minutes. Despite opening up a 10-point lead shortly after the intermission, Izzo's players quickly let the Ragin' Cajuns back into the game with a series of poor possessions.
"I think our guys are going to be great citizens when they get done with basketball, because the Christmas season is lasting all year," Izzo told The Associated Press after the game. "They're giving gifts away."
Though he was one of four Michigan State players to finish with at least four turnovers, junior point guard Keith Appling improved his season average with a team-high 19 points on 4-of-11 shooting. Appling was on the floor for 38 minutes and posted a game-high five assists in the win, and was vital down the stretch with his free-throw shooting as the Ragin' Cajuns rallied to tighten the game.