East Lansing, MI (Sports Network) - Keith Appling scored 19 points, Branden Dawson had 12 and the 15th-ranked Michigan State Spartans held on to beat the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns, 63-60, at the Breslin Center.
Appling also compiled six rebounds and five assists, while Dawson's inability to seal the win with free throws gave Louisiana an opportunity to tie the game.
Down 10 with 3:09 remaining, the Ragin' Cajuns closed to within 62-60 inside the final minute.
Elfrid Payton missed a layup after recording his seventh steal of the game. Michigan State's Denzel Valentine managed to get back on the play and block the shot. However, Kevin Brown was on the spot to convert the putback.
The Spartans came up empty on their next possession and Shawn Long failed to connect on a drive to the hoop.
Dawson grabbed the rebound and went to the line with six seconds to play. He made the first attempt but missed the second. Michigan State (5-1), though, prevailed when Payton's deep 3-point try was off the mark.
Payton posted 20 points and six rebounds for Louisiana (2-4). Long and Brown supported him with 16 and 14 points, respectively.