By LARRY LAGE
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) – Kenny Goins scored 21 of his career-high 24 points in the first half and Matt McQuaid had a career-best 22, leading No. 9 Michigan State to a 91-76 win over Nebraska on Tuesday night.
The seniors along with freshman Aaron Henry, who scored a season-high 15 points, made up for Cassius Winston matching his season low with eight points.
The Spartans (24-6, 15-4 Big Ten) close the regular season against No. 7 Michigan (26-4, 15-4) at home Saturday night.
The Cornhuskers (15-15, 5-14) have lost four in a row and 11 of 13 in what might be Tim Miles ‘ final season as their coach.
Nebraska’s James Palmer matched his season high with 30 points. Glynn Watson equaled his season best with 25 while Isaiah Roby added 10 points, nine rebounds and five assists.
Michigan State started slowly before taking control and leading 47-29 at halftime after Goins was 5 of 5 on 3-pointers and McQuaid scored 13 in the opening 20 minutes.
McQuaid topped his previous best scoring game with a 3 midway through the second half to give the Spartans a 69-55 advantage after Nebraska rallied to pull within seven points.
Nebraska: Miles fired back at a heckling fan who shouted his name and said he was going to get fired. “You think so?” Miles asked. “Maybe they’ll hire you.”
Miles is 112-112 at Nebraska, which would have to give him a $2.52 million buyout if the school fires him with two years left on his contract.
Michigan State: Henry played the way coach Tom Izzo hopes he can for the rest of the season. The shooting guard entered averaging just 4.9 points per game. He has not looked confident starting in place of Joshua Langford, who had season-ending foot surgery.
Nebraska: Will play Iowa at home on Sunday.
Michigan State: Hosts the rival Wolverines on Saturday night.