#1 lifying is just an emotional roller-coaste von lebaobei123 09.03.2019 03:27

EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Keith Appling put together an impressive performance after a poor one. Appling scored 16 of his career-high tying 27 points in the first half to help No. 5 Michigan State pull away and rout New Orleans 101-48 Saturday. The senior point guard, playing with a hip pointer, was held to four points on 2-for-11 shooting with just two assists in last weeks 14-point win at Texas. "I was able to get a couple of days off over Christmas break and rest up," Appling said. "That helped my body heal. Now, my hip feels 100 per cent." Appling equaled the career high in scoring he set last month against Oklahoma, a fact that didnt surprise New Orleans coach Mark Slessinger. "Being from the Midwest, Im still a Big Ten junkie and I watch Big Ten stuff," said Slessinger, who is from Bloomington, Ind. "Hes always been underrated nationally. We didnt stop him in transition and he played a very, very efficient game." Appling matched a season high with eight assists, had only one turnover and grabbed five rebounds against the Privateers. "The biggest thrill was Keith coming off one of his worst games, really bounced back," Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said. The Spartans (11-1) struggled for several minutes against New Orleans (3-5) before taking control with a 12-0 run midway through the first half. They led 44-27 at halftime and easily added to their comfortable cushion in the second half with 57 more points, finishing with their highest-scoring game since beating Nebraska-Omaha 110-68 two years ago. "Once we got on track, there were some bright spots," Izzo said. The Privateers had won two straight, including their previous game at UTEP. New Orleans Matt Derenbecker scored 16 and Cory Dixon had 11 points. "We took some ill-timed shots that were outside of our game plan," Slessinger said. "We wanted to shorten the game and make it almost a little ugly and really try to work the clock and try to get the best shot we could. We got out of our comfort zone and our game plan for this game and that allowed them to make runs." Gary Harris scored 19, Adreian Payne had 17 points and Denzel Valentine had 10 points, a career-high 13 rebounds and six assists for the Spartans in their final tuneup before beginning the Big Ten season Tuesday night at Penn State. Michigan State rested starting forward Branden Dawson because of a shin bruise. "He got kicked in the shin (Friday) on a drill," Izzo said, adding he probably couldve played Saturday. The Spartans also let centre Matt Costello watch one more game even though he was cleared to play. Costello missed his fourth straight game with mononucleosis, but is expected to play a little in the conference opener. Reserve centre Kenny Kaminski will be eligible to add depth against the Nittany Lions after serving an academic-related, three-game suspension. "I like the direction were heading," Izzo said. "I just need more consistency, but when you dont get practice with everybody for three weeks, you shouldnt be totally surprised by the lack of consistency." Harris responded with a poor start against New Orleans with a solid game offensively. The sophomore shooting guard was 0 for 5 before a second straight 3-pointer capped Michigan States pivotal run that gave it a 21-10 lead. Before the burst, the Spartans had more turnovers (six) than made shots (four) against a fired-up team aiming for an upset. New Orleans, a Southland Conference school, couldnt sustain its early success and fell to 7-30 against ranked teams. "We started off kind of sluggish," Appling said. "We didnt cover things exactly to way we wanted, but the big thing is that we finished strong." 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SONOMA, Calif. -- Jamie McMurray took the time to help rookie teammate Kyle Larson learn the road course at Sonoma Raceway. The payoff for working together was two Chip Ganassi Racing cars in the top three of the starting field of Sundays race. McMurray won the pole for Sundays race with a track record lap that bumped AJ Allmendinger from the top starting spot, and Larson qualified a surprising third. Allmendinger seemed to have the pole locked down until McMurray turned a lap at 96.350 mph in the final minute of Saturdays qualifying session. It broke the record of 95.262 mph set by Marcos Ambrose in 2012. "Great lap, I am so excited," McMurray said. "I thought our car in race trim was really good, really good on the long runs. Were not going to change a whole lot, I feel really good about it." Its the first pole of the season for McMurray, 10th of his career, and third at Sonoma. McMurray also started from the pole last year but finished 25th. He called the qualifying session stressful under NASCARs new knockout format. McMurray was on the verge of being eliminated in the first of the two rounds, but he went out for one last lap to advance into the top 12. Then he bumped Allmendinger as the clock wound down on the final 10-minute session. "I think everybody in the garage area has been stressed out about trying to get that clean lap in qualifying all weekend long," McMurray said. "This knockout qualifying is just an emotional roller-coaster. Theres a lot of highs and lows with it." Allmendinger wound up second in a race he believes he can win. He was out of the Sprint Cup Series a year ago because of a failed random NASCAR drug test in 2012, so while the series was racing at Sonoma, Allmendinger was in the Nationwide Series race at Road America. He delivered in the Wisconsin race for his first career victory and found his way back into a full-time ride in Cup. He wasnt disappointed after McMurray bumped him from the pole, but it eyeing another win. "We were in position to have (the pole), so it could be a lot worse," Allmendinger said. "It sucks when you are that close, but you know whatt? Jamie put in a heck of a lap.dddddddddddd Weve got a clean view of the track when we go green and were going to have some fun tomorrow. Weve got a pretty good shot to win this thing." In a surprise, McMurrays rookie teammate Kyle Larson was third to give Chip Ganassi Racing two cars in the top three. Larson doesnt have a ton of road course experience, and the rookie is admittedly still learning how to shift. Larson, who replaced road course specialist Juan Pablo Montoya in the Ganassi entry, seemed surprised by his run. "It would be interesting to see what Juan could have done today in my car because I dont feel Im that good on road courses," Larson said. "Ive never raced here before. I really rely on McMurray -- I sat in the lounge with him for 15 or 20 minutes and he just went through every corner with me and tried to give me as much information as I needed. Carl Edwards was fourth and followed by Kurt Busch, Kevin Harvick and Ryan Newman. The rest of the top 12 included Brian Vickers, Paul Menard, Joey Logano, Danica Patrick and Casey Mears. Patrick has now advanced into the final round of qualifying five times this season. "We would have liked it to be better, but well take it," Patrick said. Hendrick Motorsports goes into Sundays race looking to extend its five-race winning streak, but its drivers will have to come from deep in the field to make it six straight. Jeff Gordon, the all-time winner at Sonoma with five victories, was the highest-qualifying Hendrick driver at 15th. "We pride ourselves on being good on the road courses, especially here at Sonoma," Gordon said. "Obviously we will talk to our teammates, and see what they were dealing with as well. Very disappointed to not have any Hendrick cars in the top-12." Jimmie Johnson, winner of three of the last four races, qualified 22nd. Its his lowest starting spot at Sonoma since 2007. Failing to advance in the final group of 12 in qualifying were road course favourites Tony Stewart, the only Stewart-Haas Racing driver not to make it into the final group, as well as Ambrose and defending race winner Martin Truex Jr. ' ' '

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