EAST LANSING, Mich. – Injuries and the flu bug made Nicholls State easy pickings for No. 13 Michigan State.
Keith Appling scored 13 points and the Spartans used a big run in the first half to romp past the undermanned Colonels 84-39 Saturday.
Michigan State (6-2) led 10-9 eight minutes into the game before outscoring the Colonels 27-4 during the rest of the opening half.
Nicholls State (1-3) was missing three starters, and coach J.P. Piper had only eight players to work with.
Leading scorer Fred Hunter had a swollen knee when the team got off the plane Friday night and Piper decided not to play him.
"We're sorry we weren't able to put a more competitive team on the floor today," Piper said, stifling a cold of his own. "We're obviously decimated by injuries and sickness."
The Spartans' five-game winning streak ended Wednesday with a 67-59 loss at Miami, and they looked a bit lethargic at the outset against Nicholls State. They seemed to find their rhythm after the second TV timeout, and seven different players scored as they took a 37-13 lead at the break.
Adreian Payne added 10 and 12 rebounds for Michigan State in its 13th straight nonconference home win. Gary Harris and Denzel Valentine each had 11 points and Appling had six assists.
T.J. Carpenter fouled out with 11 points for the Colonels. JaMarkus Horace had 10 points for Nicholls State, 0-3 overall against Michigan State.
Nicholls State made just five field goals in the first half while committing 15 turnovers, eight of them steals by the Spartans.