Found February 13, 2013 on
PLAYERS: Keith Appling

EAST LANSING — So… Did anyone see this coming? A game that was looked at as one of the best matchups during college basketball’s Rivalry Week quickly turned into a lopsided beatdown. The Breslin Center was crowded with a sea of white, as the requested white-out was in full effect, but ironically enough, the Spartans may have caused the Wolverines to have a black-out kind of night. Gary Harris scored 17 points and Derrick Nix had 14 points and five rebounds to help lead the No. 8 Michigan State Spartans to a 75-52 smackdown over the No. 4 Michigan Wolverines. Harris, a freshman from Fishers, Ind., went 5-for-9 from beyond the arc and added four rebounds, three assists and three steals to go with his 17 points. Freshmen Gary Harris (left) and Denzel Valentine (right) were pivotal pieces in the Spartans dominating victory over the Wolverines Tuesday night. The Spartans (21-4, 10-2) now have sole possession of first-place in the Big Ten and have beaten the Wolverines (21-4, 8-4) the last two meetings. The Wolverines have continued to struggle on the road against top-tier Big Ten competition as they’ve lost their last four road games against four of the Big Ten’s top-5 teams. Michigan had a season-high 16 turnovers and they were out-muscled on the glass 40-28. Michigan State led by as much as 31 points as the Spartans put together one of their better offensive performances this year with four players in double-digits.  One of those players was junior Keith Appling who scored 11 points on 4-of-14 shooting and grabbed seven rebounds. While Appling’s shooting percentage was about as bad as the Spartan’s margin of victory, he had his focus on stopping the potential player of the year, Trey Burke. The MSU point guard may have one the war, but the Wolverine’s sophomore won the battle, as Burke went 7-of-11 from the field for 18 points and four assists. However, even though Burke still got his, MSU did a good job as a unit on containing Michigan’s role players. Tim Hardaway Jr. was held to only two points on 1-of-11 shooting, and Glen Robinson III mimicked his point production but went 1-of-4 from the field. Michigan State’s Branden Dawson added two steals to go along with his 10 points and was very active in the passing lanes on the defensive end of the floor. Gary Harris had three steals to complete his near-perfect game. While Harris stole the show, he wasn’t the only Michigan State freshman that made a solid contribution to the victory over the in-state rivals. Freshmen Denzel Valentine and Matt Costello gave Tom Izzo very solid minutes off the bench, something that the Spartans have been lacking for a good part of Big Ten season. Valentine grabbed seven of his nine rebounds in the first half and finished the game with seven points. Costello hauled in six rebounds to go along with his career-high eight points (3-for-3) in 11 minutes. The bench production wasn’t the determining factor in the Spartans win over the Wolverines but it definitely contributed immensely to the fashion in which Michigan State grabbed the victory. Tonight was the first time these two teams have met while both being ranked in the top-10, and while Michigan is currently ranked No. 4 in the nation, the Spartans made it very clear that the Wolverines are still No. 2 in the State of Michigan.


Michigan State Basketball playing their best ball

When Keith Appling runs the floor to precision, even when he’s not getting his, finding a way to get his teammates involved while backcourt mate Gary Harris runs around screens, fighting to get open and knock down a three. When Branden Dawson plays like he’s the best and most athletic player on the court while the two-big man lineup of Derrick Nix and Adreian Payne take control...

Michigan State Basketball: Spartans geared to take on Wolverines

It’s never happened. Not once. For as long as the two schools from the great state of Michigan have been playing basketball, they have never come across this particular occurrence once in any of their previous 169 match ups. But on Tuesday it will happen. The two rival schools will square off for the first time ever while both being ranked as one of the top ten teams in the nation...

Samantha Ponder photobombed by Sparty

During Tuesday's Michigan-Michigan State basketball game in East Lansing, Samantha Ponder (formerly Samantha Steele) was doing a courtside report when Michigan State mascot Sparty rolled in behind her and flexed in awesome Sparty fashion. Ponder seemed none the wiser to the mascot making an appearance behind her. Once again, Sparty proves that he's the best mascot in college...

Michigan State mascot 'Sparty' videobombs Samantha Ponder (GIF)

Michigan State Spartans mascot "Sparty" videobombed ESPN college basketball analyst Samantha Ponder as she was in the middle of one of her live courtside reports during Tuesday night's college basketball game in East Lansing against arch-rival Michigan. Ponder didn't seem to notice Sparty flexing his muscles behind her as she continued her report. However, Ponder...

Video: Tom Izzo, Keith Appling after 23-point win over Michigan

Here’s Tom Izzo and Keith Appling after Michigan State’s emphatic blowout win over Michigan on Tuesday evening. Izzo’s assessment of the game was succint. “We probably played our best game in 3 years,” he said. “And they probably played one of their worst.” Appling after the jump.

Michigan State Basketball: Spartan Post-Game Reactions After Win Over Michigan

EAST LANSING — Below are some video clips (courtesy of David Harns of of some post-game reactions from Michigan State players and head coach Tom Izzo after the No. 8 Spartans cruised past the No. 4 Wolverines Tuesday night: Keith Appling: Tom Izzo: Initial reactions: On freshman: On Dawson’s defense: On crowd: On  Michigan State going forward: Derrick Nix...

Photo: Sparty photobombed Samantha Ponder

Just prior to the Michigan St/Michigan tilt on Tuesday night, Sparty photobombed ESPN’s Samantha Ponder H/T @Tim_Goergen

It’s Illegal to like your rivals: MSU vs. UM: Three Keys to the Game

    1. Appling vs. Burke: Ok, everyone has been talking about this individual matchup all year long and we finally get to see it tonight. Appling has downplayed this matchup when asked, but there’s no doubt in my mind that this is personal for both point guards. Both have been doing it all for their teams as of late, scoring, passing, rebounding and even recording...
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