Top 25 men: No. 10 Michigan State downs Wisconsin
BY Associated Press
Friday, March 08, 2013
3/08/13 at 6:16 AM
Keith Appling scored 14 of his 19 points in the second half to help No. 10 Michigan State pull away to beat No. 22 Wisconsin 58-43 on Thursday night in East Lansing, Mich., and stay in the Big Ten race.
The Spartans (23-7, 12-5) moved into a three-way tie for second with Michigan and Ohio State. The trio trails conference-leading Indiana with one game left in the regular season.
The Hoosiers can claim the Big Ten title outright with a win Sunday in Ann Arbor against the Wolverines. If they lose, Michigan would earn piece of the title and give Michigan State and the Buckeyes a shot to pull into a four-way tie. The Spartans close the regular season Sunday at home against Northwestern after Ohio State hosts Illinois.
The Badgers (20-10, 11-6) fell to fifth place with the decisive road loss after Purdue handed them their most lopsided setback at home in more than seven years.
Michigan State broke open a close slugfest with a 16-0 run early in the second half, taking a 21-point lead on Appling's three-point play.
The junior point guard had been held to single digits in each of the last three games, all losses, but bounced back in a big way. Appling scored more points against the Badgers than he scored in the previous three games combined.
And much to the delight of coach Tom Izzo, the Spartans showed some grit against the hard-nosed Badgers. Adreian Payne landed on his back after missing a dunk and while on the floor in pain, he grabbed a loose ball and called timeout. Izzo greeted Payne with a huge hug near the sideline and the crowd stood to give the junior forward a rousing ovation.
Michigan State freshman Gary Harris, who started the night leading the team in scoring, was scoreless in the first half and finished with 11 points. Payne had nine points and 10 rebounds.
Wisconsin didn't have a scorer in double digits until Ben Brust made two free throws with 1:22 left to reach 10 points.
Colorado 76, No. 19 Oregon 53: In Boulder, Colo., Xavier Johnson had a career-high 22 points, Spencer Dinwiddie added 17 and Colorado beat Oregon, completing a season sweep and thwarting the Ducks' bid to gain a share of the Pac-12 Conference title.
The Buffaloes (20-9, 10-7) played without the nation's leading rebounder, Andre Roberson, who sat out with a viral illness. Gone with the athletic junior forward were 11.5 rebounds and 10.8 points a game.
Arsalan Kazemi, Jonathan Loyd and Ben Carter each had 10 points for Oregon (23-7, 12-5), which fell into a first-place tie with UCLA. The Ducks hold the tiebreaker after beating the Bruins in their only meeting in January. Oregon can wrap up at least a share of their first league crown since 2002 - along with the No. 1 seed for the Pac-12 tournament - with a win at Utah on Saturday.
Little-used backups Xavier Talton and Jeremy Adams played big minutes as they helped pick up the slack in Roberson's absence. Adams' thunderous dunk early in the second half gave the Buffs a 52-29 lead and brought the capacity crowd to its feet. So loud were the fans that Oregon players went on playing right through an official's whistle for a timeout.
Original Print Headline: Michigan St. downs Wisconsin
Michigan State's Adreian Payne drives for a shot against Wisconsin's Ryan Evans during the second half of Thursday night's game in East Lansing, Mich. AL GOLDIS/Associated Press