East Lansing, MI – Derrick Nix scored 17 points with five rebounds to give No. 22 Michigan State a 66-56 win over Nebraska on Sunday.
Adreian Payne scored 14 points while Branden Dawson added 12 points and six rebounds for the Spartans (14-3, 3-1 Big Ten), who have won three straight.
"I have no idea why we looked so lethargic and why we missed so many shots," Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo said.
David Rivers had 18 points and six rebounds while Dylan Talley added 17 points and eight boards for the Cornhuskers (9-8, 0-4), who have dropped their past four games.
A Ray Gallegos layup with under three minutes to play got Nebraska within one point, but Gary Harris followed with a 3-pointer and, after a Keith Appling steal, Nix hit two from the line with just over a minute to play for a 60-54 advantage.
Dawson then stole the ball off of Rivers and that led to two free throws from Harris with 45 seconds to play to seal the win.
"We had a bad shot and two turnovers late that hurt us. We don't have enough things going our way to make errors late in the game," Nebraska head coach Tim Miles said.
Michigan State held a 5-point lead after Denzel Valentine 3-pointer, but an 11-2 run by Nebraska gave the team the lead back and a 3-point play by Rivers made it a 23-19 game with under eight minutes to play.
The Spartans scored the final four points of the first half to send the game into the break tied at 32-all.
Michigan State held a 5-point lead with 11 minutes to play and four minutes to play, but Nebraska was able to keep it from getting out of hand until the final minute.
Nebraska hosts Purdue on Wednesday ... Michigan State plays at Penn State on Wednesday ... The Spartans have won six of the seven meetings against the Cornhuskers and own an 11-6 lead in the all-time series.