COLUMBUS, Ohio —
No. 20 Mich. St. 67Texas 56
EAST LANSING, Mich. — For Derrick Nix, who hasn’t always had it easy at Michigan State, it was a good time to have a great day.
The senior who lost 70 pounds and overcame an arrest to become one of the Spartans’ captains had 25 points and 11 rebounds to help No. 20 Michigan State surge past Texas 67-56 on Saturday.
“Nix and I have a love-hate relationship; I love to hate him sometimes,” Spartans coach Tom Izzo said. “He gets frustrated with himself sometimes, too. One of the hardest things to do is take criticism. But he has grown up a lot.”
Nix was 7 for 10 from the field and 11 for 13 at the line, a major improvement for a 64.9 percent foul shooter.
Keith Appling had 14 points and Adreian Payne added 13 for the Spartans (11-2), who stayed perfect in six December games.
“I didn’t get a scholarship here because they wanted to give it to me,” Nix said. “I had to be doing something right. Today, they didn’t double-team. I hit my first shot and tried to dominate the rest of the day.”
No. 24 Okla. St. 78Tenn. Tech 42
STILLWATER — Oklahoma State’s defense was far too much for Tennessee Tech.
The Golden Eagles turned the ball over 20 times in a 78-42 loss to the 24th-ranked Cowboys on Saturday.
Forte hit 6 of 11 from 3-point range and the Cowboys (10-1) hit a season-high 11 3-point field goals. Kamari Murphy scored 12 points, Markel Brown and Marcus Smart each scored 11, and Kirby Gardner added 10 points and seven assists.
“We have struggled to score at times this year, and we knew (Oklahoma State) was good, especially on the defensive end,” Tennessee Tech coach Steve Payne said. “I thought we made some poor decisions at times but they had a lot to do with that.
Judd Dillard led Tennessee Tech (6-6) with 18 points. Jeremiah Samarrippas added 11 points and Dennis Ogbe grabbed eight rebounds.