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New Orleans (3-4) at (5) Michigan State (10-1)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Saturday, December 28, 4:15 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Breslin Center (15,000) -- East Lansing, Michigan. Television: Big Ten Network. Home Record: New Orleans 2-1, MSU 5-1. Away Record: New Orleans 1-3, MSU 1-0. Neutral Record: New Orleans 0-0, MSU 4-0. Conference Record: New Orleans 0-0, MSU 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.

GAME NOTES: The fifth-ranked Michigan Spartans return to the Breslin Center on Saturday afternoon and will attempt to extend their winning streak to four games as they host the New Orleans Privateers in non-conference action.

New Orleans has gotten off to a 3-4 start to the season, but it has been trending up recently with back-to-back wins. After taking down Champion Baptist at home on Dec. 14 (101-38), the Privateers opened a four-game road swing on Dec. 16 by claiming a 71-69 victory over Texas-El Paso.

Michigan State had risen to the No. 1 spot in the AP poll following a 7-0 start to the season, but it slipped up at home on Dec. 4 to North Carolina in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, 79-65. Since then, the Spartans have gotten back on track with three straight wins to climb to 10-1, most recently earning a strong road victory over Texas on Dec. 21, 92-78.

This matchup marks the first-ever meeting between New Orleans and Michigan State on the hardwood.

The Privateers were able to take a two-point lead with 5:15 left in their most recent game on a Matt Derenbecker jumper, and they hung on to the advantage en route to the strong road victory. Although it wasn't their best night from the free-throw line (9-of-17), they more than made up for it by shooting a lofty 50.9 percent from the field, including 8-of-20 from 3-point range. Cory Dixon and Derenbecker paced the effort with 12 points apiece, while Tradarri McPhearson and Isaac Mack netted 11 and 10 points, respectively. New Orleans has had modest offensive success this season, scoring 72.9 points per game, but unfortunately its opponents nearly keep pace (72.0 ppg). Dixon is both the team's leading scorer (15.0 ppg) and rebounder (7.4 rpg), while Derenbecker (12.5 ppg, 6.8 rpg) and Mack (10.5 ppg) are also regular contributors.

The Spartans were locked in a tight battle with Texas last Saturday, as the game was tied at 54 with under 11 minutes to play, but they pulled away with a 9-2 run en route to the convincing 14-point victory. They shot 50 percent from the field in the triumph and put forth a busy, efficient showing from the free-throw line (27-of-33). Leading the charge was Adreian Payne with a career-best performance, shooting 10-of-13 from the field and 11-of-12 from the stripe for 33 points to go with nine rebounds. Gary Harris (19 points, five assists) and Travis Trice (13 points) were both strong off the bench, while Branden Dawson tallied a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds. It's no surprise that Michigan State has been one of the nation's elite teams this season, as it shoots 48.6 percent from the field for 82.1 points per game, 15.2 points more than it allows, while also boasting positive margins in rebounding (+4.8) and turnovers (+2.4). Payne is a versatile forward, tallying 18.1 points and 8.0 rebounds per game, while shooting 53 percent from the field and 45.7 percent from 3-point range. Harris brings 17.8 points per game to the table, Keith Appling (14.9 ppg) has 52 assists paired with only 22 turnovers, and Dawson (10.3 ppg, 9.3 rpg) is a nightly double-double threat.

Simply put, New Orleans is completely overmatched by Michigan State. Expect the Spartans to have this one in the bag by halftime.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Michigan State 86, New Orleans 49

12/28 10:45:17 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14
 
7th
SFG 7
KAN 4
 
Final
WISC 52
MD 7
Final
SMU 10
MEM 48
Final
ILL 28
MINN 24
Final
RICE 41
UNT 21
Final
NEB 42
RUTG 24
Final
KST 23
TEX 0
Final
ARK 45
UAB 17
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
EMICH 17
NILL 28
Final
NAVY 41
SJST 31
Final
BST 35
AKR 21
Final
GASTATE 31
GASO 69
Final
TOL 42
UMASS 35
Final
WMICH 42
OHIO 21
Final
COL 37
UCLA 40
Final
UMO 10
KSU 3
Final
WAKE 17
BC 23
Final
BUF 14
CMICH 20
Final
MARS 35
FATL 16
Final
PITT 28
GT 56
Final
SMISS 20
LATU 31
Final
MSU 35
MICH 11
Final
KENT 31
MSST 45
Final
STAN 38
ORST 14
Final
TCU 82
TTU 27
Final
OKST 10
WVU 34
Final
WKENT 66
ODU 51
Final
UTST 34
UNLV 20
Final
MIZZ 24
VANDY 14
Final
UCF 34
TEMPL 14
Final
WASU 37
ARZ 59
 
Final
CLEM 16
SYR 6
Final
LAMON 18
TXST 22
 
Final
TXSANANTO 0
UTEP 34
 
Final
COLST 45
WYO 31
 
Final
LSU 10
MISS 7
 
Final
TENN 20
ALA 34
 
Final
AUB 42
SCAR 35
 
4th
PSU 14
OSU 17
 
2nd
UTAH 10
USC 7
 
1st
WASH 0
ARST 0
 
11:59pm Tonight
HAW
NEV
Final
SJS 1
BUF 2
Final
TOR 1
BOS 4
Final
NYI 7
DAL 5
Final
PHI 4
DET 2
Final
OTT 2
NJD 3
Final
MON 3
NYR 1
Final
STL 3
CHI 2
Final
NAS 0
PIT 3
Final
MIN 7
TAM 2
3rd
ARI 0
FLA 1
 
2nd
CAL 1
WAS 2
 
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14