Michigan State started the game with a new starting line up which included Keith Appling, Gary Harris, Denzel Valentine, Alex Gauna and Adreian Payne.
Branden Dawson would enter the game early in the 1st half but was unable to provide the lift the team needed off the bench.
Appling and Harris got off to nice starts scoring. Payne started to become a factor midway through the 1st half.
Portland kept it close in the 1st half because the Spartans chose to shoot jump shots instead of going inside. The Spartan defense again was challenged by a lesser opponent. The bigs for the Pilots were able to get deep inside the paint which allowed them to get easy lay ups and offensive rebounds. MSU could not get any scoring runs going.
Portland stayed close with the Spartans in the 1st half with the score 36-32 favoring MSU. The frustration was written all over Coach Tom Izzo's face. His team clearly had not been woken up yet.
After half time Izzo chose to put Dawson and Matt Costello back in to the starting line up.
The 2nd half began like the how the 1st half ended with the Pilots answering each MSU basket.
With just under 13:00 minutes the score was tied 46-46.
After a Travis Trice 5-0 run which included a three pointer and a lay up off of a steal the Pilots took a timeout and the Spartans would never look back.
Trice, Harris and Appling carried the team from the outside hitting key three pointers to increase the lead.
Payne continued his consistent contribution scoring 9 of this 19 points in the 2nd half.
After a lack luster 1st half Dawson picked up his play in the 2nd. He began rebounding and playing defense with more energy and was key in the Spartans taking control in the 2nd half.
The lead would grow to as much as 19 points for Michigan State.
The final score when the buzzer sounded was 82-67.
Appling led Michigan State with another stellar performance with 25 points (5 for 5 from 3pt and 6 for 6 FTs), 7 assists and 1 turnover.
Box score can be found here: http://scores.espn.go.com/ncb/boxscore?gameId=400508988
Next up Michigan State faces off with Virginia Tech in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic in Brooklyn, NY on Friday night.