WOW! Michigan State Spartans have just sent the Michigan Wolverines back to Ann Arbor as the 4th team in the Big Ten. Not only did the Spartans win, but they had a 31 point lead at one point in the second half.
As I sat, mouth agape, disturbing my neighbors with my loud and boisterous cheering, I watched a team that has been playing injured beat the living daylights out of their big rival. Travis Trice was out with concussion symptoms. Gary Harris played, but took several bench breaks, with back spasms still acting up. Keith Appling had his shoulder brace on, and Branden Dawson took the fall big time, and unfortunately went out of the game at the end of the second half, visibly in pain. Despite the fact that Spartan fans would have understand had they not got the win, all the young men played with their hearts 100% in the game.
Harris once again was a high-scorer in the game, taking home 17 points. Derrick Nix was also on fire tonight; he took 14 points during the game. Dawson had 10 points and Appling had 11 points.
Freshman Matt Costello grabbed up a season high 8 points; he hasn’t had a whole lot of play-time this season, but tonight he showed fans why Tom Izzo wanted him on the team. After the season high 13 minutes against Purdue, Costello rose to the occasion – and was quite pleased with his own performance. Denzel Valentine had 7 points.
There wasn’t a single point during the Spartans game where the Michigan State team trailed. During the last minutes of the game, Tom Izzo sent the reserves out onto the court.
It appears that Dawson’s injury is minor – he had a cut on his lip and was hit in the nose by Wolverine Mitch McGary hit Dawson in the face with his arm.
All in all, there was a lot of energy out there on the court tonight. Everyone pulled his weight out on the court, and it was a great team effort all around. Between the audience decked out in all-white and the team tearing up the paint and sending those Wolverines packing, it was an outstanding game to behold. No wonder they propelled to the number one spot.
The Spartans go up against Nebraska on Saturday at 8:00 PM EST. The game will be televised on the Big Ten Network.