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Michigan State guard A.J. Hoggard, left, fouls Nebraska guard Alonzo Verge Jr. during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022, in East Lansing, Mich. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

 

Freshman Max Christie scored a season-high 21 points and Gabe Brown added 14 to help No. 10 Michigan State pull away and beat Nebraska 79-67 Wednesday night for its eighth win in a row.

The Spartans (13-2, 4-0 Big Ten) led by just four points at halftime because they turned the ball over 12 times.

Michigan State made three 3-pointers early in the second half to go ahead 47-39 and maintained the lead because it took better care of the basketball, finishing with 19 turnovers.

The Cornhuskers (6-9, 0-4) started strong, leading 17-12 and by a point late in the first half and didn’t allow the Spartans to pull away until late in the second half.

Nebraska’s Derrick Walker scored 16, Bryce McGowens and Kobe Webster scored 13 apiece and C.J. Wilcher added 10 points.

Malik Hall scored 12 and Tyson Walker had 10 points and for the Spartans, whose losses this season were against No. 1 Baylor and No. 6 Kansas.

PANDEMIC PLAY

Michigan State hosted its first game with a requirement that all spectators provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of the tipoff.

The new policy may have been a factor that kept some people away because there were a lot of empty seats and some upper-section rows without fans at the Breslin Center.

Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo reacts after a play during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Nebraska, Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022, in East Lansing, Mich. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

BIG PICTURE

Nebraska: The program has lost 20 straight games to ranked teams, dating to the Huskers’ win over No. 21 Maryland in the 2019 Big Ten tournament.

Michigan State: If Tom Izzo’s team can figure out how to cut down on its turnovers, it has a shot to win the Big Ten and to perhaps make a run in the NCAA Tournament.

Nebraska center Eduardo Andre, left, and Michigan State forward Gabe Brown (44) reach for the inbound pass during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022, in East Lansing, Mich. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

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