Michigan State’s Men’s Basketball team is banged up and it is only getting worse for the Spartans. However, despite the injuries they were still able to pull out a victory over the 18th ranked Gophers.
Michigan State’s Freshman guard Gary Harris led the team with 15 points all while playing through a back alignment issue. Junior Guard Keith Appling added 14 points before the leaving the game with an injury, resulting in a win for Michigan State 61-50 over Minnesota. Harris bounced back quick after struggling in the previous game with back spasms and limited practice earlier in the week.
“Gary hit a couple big shots, the guy has ice in his veins and is tougher than nails,” Spartans coach Tom Izzo said. “He could barely go. It was one of the guttier performances in my career.”
Appling left the court with 1:17 left, holding his right shoulder after getting tied up with Joe Coleman. He returned to the bench in the final minute, but couldn’t play because of his shoulder injury.
The Spartans lack depth in the backcourt because Travis Trice, Appling’s backup, hasn’t been cleared after following a head injury last week. They are also suffering from the loss of Brandan Kearney, who transferred to Arizona State. Their frontcourt took a hit when Adreian Payne got elbowed in the face, and left the court with a bloody nose for part of the second half. It was also no help that Branden Dawson was slowed by a sprained right ankle.
The Gophers didn’t have a scorer in double figures until Austin Hollins’ 3-pointer with 3:38 left got them within five. Hollins finished with 11 points. Coleman was one of his three teammates with nine points.
Currently Michigan State is ranked second in the Big Ten behind NO. 3 ranked Michigan. Michigan State will have three games in the next six days with one of them being Michigan. With their lack of depth we will have to see if they are able to handle this strong of a work load.