Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 11/14/14
Keith Appling injured his right shoulder in Wednesday’s victory over Minnesota. (AP Photo) EAST LANSING — Freshman Gary Harris scored 15 points and added four assists to help lead the No. 12 Michigan State Spartans to a 61-50 victory over No. 18 Minnesota. Harris, who has been dealing with back issues since last Thursday’s victory over Illinois, was a game-time decision, and according to his head coach, put together one of the “guttier” performances he has witnessed at Michigan State. “That kid showed me some character and some heart,” MSU head coach Tom Izzo said about his ailing freshman guard. “I just kept asking him if he could go, and thank God he is smart enough to say yes.” Harris shot 4-of-8 from beyond the arc, and while he showed glimpses of pain, he knew that staying on the floor was the best thing for him and his team. “I didn’t want to come out because I knew if I came out it (his back) was going to get worse, it was going to get locked up, it was going to get tight,” Harris said. “I just wanted to stay on the court as much as possible and keep it as loose as possible.” Harris along with backcourt mate Keith Appling were the only Spartans to really get going on the offensive end in the first half, as they combined for 12 of MSU’s 18 points. Izzo’s ball club shot 6-of-25 from the field in the first half. The Spartans (19-4, 8-2) trailed going into the half 20-18, however, while their play in the opening 20 minutes was very ugly, they didn’t commit a turnover, something that’s not very common in East Lansing. “I don’t think that’s ever happened in the 30 years I’ve been here,” Izzo said. While Minnesota (17-6, 5-5) went into the half leading the Spartans by two, they tried to mimic MSU on the offensive end, but barely failed (which in this case is a good thing), as they shot 8-0f-21 from the field. MSU came out in the second half much differently than they ended the first half, as they scored on their first six possessions, and took a 33-29 lead with 14:44 left to play. With 9:57 left, sophomore Branden Dawson jumped the passing lane on a Oto Osenieks pass and finished with a strong one-handed dunk to give the Spartans a 12 point lead — their largest of the night. Minnesota was able to cut the MSU lead to four with 2:49 left, but an Appling layup followed by an Appling steal which led to a Harris layup allowed the Spartans  to extend their lead back to double-digits. However, when Michigan State was beginning to get comfortable and close out the game, with 1:17 left, Appling grabbed Joe Coleman’s arm in an attempt to receive an inbound pass and popped out his right shoulder in the process. Appling immediately went to the locker room, and the Breslin Center went from ecstatic to somber in a matter of seconds. With under a minute to play, and the Spartans looking to win their 14th straight home game, Appling jogged back to the Michigan State bench, and the Breslin Center got as loud as it had been all night. “I was happy as heck to see him,” Izzo said. Before the abrupt ending to Appling’s night, the junior finished the game with 14 points (3-of-4 from downtown), four rebounds and three assists. Appling said that he was “scared” when the injury occurred because he had never experienced an injury like that before. Appling seemed to be doing a lot better after the game than many expected, especially after seeing his grimacing reaction when the injury occured. “Right now I’m fine,” Appling said in the locker room after the victory. “It’s just sore. I’m sure I’ll be alright in the morning.” If Harris’ back injury, Travis Trice’s concussion symptoms (sat out tonight’s game) and Appling’s shoulder aren’t enough for Tom Izzo and his coaching staff to handle, Dawson and junior Adreian Payne suffered injuries in the game as well. According to Izzo, Payne was sent to the locker room in the middle of the second half to try and control a bloody nose he suffered after getting hit. Izzo believes that there is a chance that his nose could be broken. Dawson injured his ankle and was forced to miss several possessions. “That just goes to show how physical the Big Ten is,” Appling said. “Everybody’s getting a little banged up. We just got to suck it up.” Well, the Spartans will have to aid to these injuries a little faster than usual because they play two games in the next six days and one of those games is a big time matchup against the Michigan Wolverines next Tuesday.            
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

DeMarco Murray: I don't pay attention to being replaced

Bucs believed to be going for Marcus Mariota with No. 1 pick

Report: Wrigley Field renovation causing massive rat problem

Rex Ryan praises Patriots, calls Deflategate 'unfortunate'

Brady hopes Peyton Manning comes back next season

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Thibodeau’s relationship with Bulls 'beyond repair'

Joe Montana pins blame for Deflategate on Tom Brady

NFLPA boss: No Deflategate interviews until after SB

Blandino: Deflategate no sting; PSI in footballs not logged in

Aaron Hernandez’s DNA found on bullet casing, joint near body

Thomas upset he was tested for PEDs over health statement

The Washington Redskins and their forgotten dynasty

WATCH: Katy Perry cracks Deflategate, Marshawn jokes

Devon and Leah Still write a book for kids fighting cancer

Five potential heroes of Super Bowl XLIX

WATCH: Timberwolves throw shade at Kevin Love in promo

Tom Izzo: 'The Twitter' may have affected team's confidence

Measles outbreak hits Arizona days before Super Bowl

Proposed pace-of-play rule changes, by the numbers

Super Bowl XLIX should smash TV viewership record yet again

NFL, officials, Carroll disagree on ineligible player rules

Seattle business rolling 12,000 joints for Super Bowl

How Yardbarker got Marshawn Lynch to open up back in 2008

College Basketball News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Five potential Super Bowl XLIX heroes

Rex Ryan downplays Deflategate

Brady hopes Manning comes back

The worst Super Bowl commercials of all-time

SB anthem, halftime performers through the years

Super Bowl should smash TV records

Super Bowl records unlikely to fall

15 amazing Super Bowl XLIX stats

Teammate: Manziel not a joke

Ten most underrated SB performances

Knicks ‘in play’ for Kevin Durant?

Ex-QB: Everyone deflates footballs

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.