Published November 24, 2013
| Sports Network
Brooklyn, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Keith Appling had 27 points and Gary Harris added 21, as top-ranked Michigan State held off Oklahoma, 87-76, in the championship game of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic at the Barclays Center.
Branden Dawson scored 18 points on 8-of-10 shooting and had 10 rebounds for the Spartans (6-0), who were up only four points with three minutes remaining.
Cameron Clark netted 32 points for the Sooners (4-1), who also received 15 points from Isaiah Cousins and 13 from Buddy Hield.
A jumper from Cousins cut the deficit to 57-53 with nearly 12 1/2 minutes left, but after both teams missed several shots the Spartans got the upperhand thanks to five consecutive points. Appling completed a 3-point play and then converted a dunk for a nine-point lead.
Ryan Spangler's layup had the Sooners back within four at 75-71 with 3:15 remaining. Appling went 1-of-2 at the foul line and then converted another 3- point play for a 79-71 cushion.
Clark made a jumper with nearly 11 minutes remaining in the opening half for a 22-11 lead for Oklahoma, but the Spartans came storming back. Michigan State scored the final 13 points of the half for a 45-31 cushion.
"The stretch ending in the first half was a lot to overcome," Sooners coach Lon Kruger said. "I thought we had pretty good ball movement on the night with the exception of that stretch and, again, Michigan State is the type of ball club that can do that to you. If they get you going sideways it's kind of hard to get in the right direction. But the guys responded in the second half with a good effort and we've going to learn from it and get better from it and I know this group will."
The Spartans made half of their 58 field goal attempts ... Oklahoma was 4- of-17 from 3-point range ... MSU dominated in the paint with a 42-26 scoring advantage.