Spartans Win Defensive Battle Against Minnesota

Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

The Michigan State Spartans played a physical game with the Minnesota Golden Gophers in East Lansing on Wednesday night. The Spartans came into the game already banged up and left the game limping.

The Gophers gave the Spartans all they could handle as they took a lead going into halftime, 20-18. Michigan State looked solid from behind the arc, however, as their 9-18 three-point performance kept them afloat throughout the game.

The Spartans went into the game with backup point guard Travis Trice out after suffering a concussion in the previous game as well as Gary Harris being hampered with a back injury that seemed to slow his play down quite a bit against Minnesota.

Michigan State had the game seemingly in hand, but in the final two minutes of the game, Keith Appling suffered a gruesome shoulder injury that looked worse than what he made it out to be:

“It popped out, then went right back in.”

The junior point guard came back to the bench with under a minute to go and seemed to be running with no pain in his shoulder, but never returned to the game.

Michigan State had a rough shooting night in the first half, but the second half was much better to the Spartans as they improved their field goal percentage from the low-20s to the mid-40s by the end of the game.

Tom Izzo was happy with his team’s performance in the second half, especially that of freshman guard Harris. He seemed to be running gingerly throughout, and still managed to put up 15 points and lead Michigan State to their 19th win of the season and eighth in the Big Ten.

The Spartans will travel to Purdue next to take on the Boilermakers before taking on in-state rival Michigan next Tuesday at 9 p.m. in East Lansing.

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