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Men's Basketball Takes On Rival Michigan

February 23, 2014


#13/14 Michigan State (22-5, 11-3) vs. #20/20 Michigan (18-7, 10-3)
 Date Sunday, Feb. 23, 2014
 Time 12 p.m. ET
 Location Ann Arbor, Mich. | Crisler Center
 Television CBS (Verne Lundquist, Bill Raftery)
 Radio Spartan Sports Network (Will Tieman, Gus Ganakas, Matt Steigenga)
 Game Notes Michigan State | Michigan
 Statistics  Michigan State | Michigan
 Internet Coverage  Gametracker
 Social Media @MSU_Basketball   |  Facebook

Michigan State and Michigan meet Sunday in a showdown between the top two teams in the Big Ten, as the Spartans and Wolverines are tied in the loss column atop the standings. This will be the sixth straight meeting where MSU and UM are both ranked, after a span of 13 years with just the Spartans in the Top 25.

1. The Complete Package

Gary Harrisgets a lot of notoriety for his scoring, as he ranks third in the Big Ten (17.8 ppg). But what makes him special is his ability to be a difference maker on both ends of the court, leading the Spartans with 48 steals, ranking third in the conference (2.0 spg). In Big Ten action, he ranks fourth in scoring (17.5 ppg) and second in steals (2.5 spg).

2. Payne Returns With A Bang
After missing seven games with a right foot sprain, Adreian Paynehas been a force in his return, averaging 18.0 points and 6.8 rebounds in five games. He's started the last four contests, averaging 19.5 points and 7.8 rebounds, including scoring 24 points against Wisconsin, 20 against Northwestern, adding 14 rebounds against the Wildcats, and 23 points at Purdue. In five games, he's shooting .542 from the field, .444 from 3-point range and .750 from the foul line, averaging 26.8 minutes.

3. Spartans Away From Home
Michigan State is 11-2 away from home this season, including 7-1 on an opponent's home court, and 4-1 on a neutral court. It marks the first time in school history that MSU won at least its first seven games away from East Lansing, opening with wins in its first 10 games away from home. MSU won its first five true road games by 14 points or more, marking the first time in school history it has accomplished that feat during a single season, and has won six of its eight road games by 14 or more points. MSU has been especially dominant in the second half of true road games, out-scoring opponents by an average of +9.6 points. In its seven Big Ten road games, MSU is holding opponents to 61.3 points and a .393 field-goal percentage, while out-rebounding opponents by a +6.1 margin.

4. Spartan Defense
Michigan State has held opponents below 40 percent shooting for the year in each of the last two seasons, limiting opponents to .390 FG% last year (ranking 22nd in the nation) and .379 FG% in 2011-12 (ranking second in the nation). It's the first time the Spartans have held opponents below 40 percent in back-to-back seasons since MSU did it three straight seasons from 1999-2000 to 2001-02. MSU's first 27 opponents are shooting .391 from the floor, ranking second in the Big Ten and 17th in the nation (NCAA stats through Feb. 20), including .324 from 3-point range, ranking fifth in the conference. In conference games, MSU ranks first in field-goal percentage defense (.403) and blocks (5.3 bpg), second in steals (7.2 spg), and fourth in scoring defense (65.4 ppg).

5. Payne From Deep
Through the first 87 games of his career, Adreian Payneshot just 1-of-4 from 3-point range. Over the last 40 games, he is 42-of-100 (.420), averaging more than one made 3-pointer per contest. On 12 occasions, including nine times this season, he's made more than one in a game.

Series History

Michigan leads the all-time series with Michigan State, 96-76, including a 59-29 advantage in games played in Ann Arbor. MSU has won 20 of the last 28 games overall. Tom Izzois 20-13 in his career against the Wolverines.

Coach Beilein
John Beilein (Butler, `90) is 691-410 in his 36th season as a collegiate head coach, including 135-89 in his seventh season at Michigan. His coaching career also includes stints at West Virginia, Richmond, Canisius, LeMoyne, Nazareth and Erie Community College.

The Last Meeting In Ann Arbor
Michigan defeated Michigan State, 58-57, on March 3, 2013, in Ann Arbor. MSU took a 31-24 lead with 1:03 remaining in the first half. Michigan, however, scored two late baskets, and trailed by just three points at the half, 31-28. The Wolverines opened the second half on an 8-0 run, and held a 52-42 lead with 4:36 left. MSU responded with a 14-4 spurt over the next 3:42 to tie the game at 56. Keith Appling capped the run with two free throws, following his steal of Trey Burke. The Spartans then forced another Wolverine turnover, gaining control of the ball with 32 seconds left. Burke then stole the ball from Appling and raced downcourt for a dunk. Derrick Nix went to the foul line with 8.8 seconds left, but he hit just one of two shots. UM missed the front end of a one-and-one, but Burke recorded a game-clinching steal. MSU shot a season-low .356 from the field and UM turned 18 Spartan turnovers into 18 points. Adreian Payne led MSU with 17 points and 16 rebounds, while Gary Harrisadded 16 points. Trey Burke led all players with 21 points and eight assists.

The Last Meeting
Michigan defeated Michigan State, 80-75, on Jan. 25, 2014, in East Lansing. UM hit its first four shots in jumping out to a 10-2 lead. Michigan State then cranked up the defense, allowing the Wolverines to hit just two of their next 12 shots, as the Spartans used a 19-6 run to take a 21-16 lead, eventually taking a 36-30 lead into halftime. In the second half, Michigan tied the score at 53 with 7:47 remaining. Just over three minutes later, Keith Appling gave MSU a 60-58 lead, but Michigan tied it with two free throws. Appling then drove for another layup, but Jon Horford blocked his shot and Nik Stauskas hit a transition 3-pointer. On MSU's next possession, Horford once again blocked Appling's layup, resulting in a three-point play for Derrick Walton Jr. The Wolverines sealed the win by hitting 14-of-16 foul shots in the final two minutes. Gary Harris scored a career-high 27 points to lead all scorers and Keith Applingrecorded his first double-double with 10 points and a career-high 10 assists. Stauskas and Walton Jr., led the Wolverines with 19 points each.

Wolverine Notes
Michigan leads the Big Ten in field-goal percentage (.479), 3-point field-goal percentage (.393), free-throw percentage (.765) and 3-point field goals made per game (8.4) ... Nik Stauskas ranks fifth in the Big Ten in overall scoring (16.7 ppg), and tied for second in 3-point field-goal percentage.

Michigan State rode outstanding shooting to a 94-79 win at Purdue. It started with a 3-pointer from Adreian Payne on MSU's first possession. With 14:09 left in the first half, the contest was tied at 13. MSU then hit a 3-pointer on three straight possessions to take a 22-13 lead. Purdue cut the lead to four points at 36-32 with 4:57 remaining and appeared to be gaining momentum. The Spartans quickly reasserted themselves with a 9-0 run on three 3-pointers to take a commanding 45-32 lead. MSU led 49-38 at the half, connecting on 13-of-19 3-pointers, as 13 of the Spartans' 14 first-half field goals were 3-pointers. Purdue scored the first basket of the second half, but a 5-0 run gave MSU a 54-40 lead and the Boilermakers were never within single digits after that. Gary Harris led MSU with 25 points, hitting 6-of-9 3-pointers, while Adreian Payneadded 23 points, hitting 4-of-8 threes. The Spartans set a school single-game record with 17 3-pointers.

* Michigan State set a school single-game record with 17 3-pointers, matching the Big Ten record for made 3-pointers in a conference game.
* MSU dished out 26 assists on 30 made field goals, recording an assist on 86.7 percent of its field goals. The previous high was 80.0 percent vs. Columbia (16 assists, 20 field goals).
* MSU's 13 first-half 3-pointers were the most the Spartans had ever made in a single half.
* MSU's 17 3-pointers were the most ever against Purdue and the most ever made in Mackey Arena.
* Gary Harris hit 6-of-9 3-pointers, matching his career high set as a freshman against Purdue, after hitting .222 from behind the arc in his previous four games.
* Keith Appling's nine assists matched the second-best effort of his career.
* Adreian Payne's 23 points came in 22 minutes, as he also tied his career high for 3-pointers in a game, hitting 4-of-8.
* Thirteen of MSU's 14 first-half field goals were from 3-point range.
* After not scoring in the paint in the first half, the Spartans out-scored Purdue, 22-20, in the second half.
* Purdue's .490 field-goal percentage was a season-high for a Spartan opponent.
* MSU's .577 field-goal percentage was a season-high against a Big Ten opponent, and the second-best percentage of the season. MSU BASKETBALL NOTES
Outside Shooting

Michigan State is shooting .387 from 3-point range (222-of-573), ranking second in the Big Ten. Five Spartans (Gary Harris-58, Travis Trice-39, Keith Appling-32, Kenny Kaminski-30, Adreian Payne-26) each average more than one made 3-pointer per game. Individually, Trice leads the conference in 3-point field-goal percentage (.443), while Appling ranks ninth (.395). Payne (.441) would rank second if he had played in enough games. The Spartans have made 10 or more 3-pointers in 11 games, after doing it just once last season, ranking second in the Big Ten in 3-point field goals per game (8.2). In conference games, MSU is shooting .399, ranking second, while ranking first with 8.5 makes per contest. The Spartans established a school single-game record with 17 made 3-pointers at Purdue, tying the Big Ten record for a conference game. On the season, MSU's 222 made 3-pointers already rank as the second-best single-season total in school history, trailing only the 1999-2000 squad (253). Last season, the Spartans shot .338 from 3-point range, hitting 177-of-523. The 2003-04 squad was the best shooting team of the Tom Izzoera, shooting .401, while the 1989-90 squad shot a school-record .431.

Trice Runs The Point
Travis Trice has filled in admirably at the point in place of an injured Keith Appling, as Trice has started the last five games, with Appling missing three of them. In five starts, he's averaging 9.2 points, 4.4 assists and 2.6 rebounds, totaling 22 assists and just two turnovers in 150 minutes. The seven assists he totaled against Penn State were a personal high against a Big Ten opponent, while his 13 points at Wisconsin were the most he had ever scored against a Big Ten team.

Taking Care Of The Ball
Michigan State is on pace to shatter the mark for fewest turnovers during the Tom Izzoera. MSU is currently averaging 11.1 turnovers, including just 10.6 in conference. The previous low during the Izzo era was 13.0 in 2011-12. The Spartans are 13-3 when committing fewer turnovers than their opponent. MSU ranks third in the Big Ten in turnover margin (+1.8), out-scoring opponents by +2.7 points per game (15.4-12.7) in points off turnovers.

Rotating Starting Lineup, Part 1
Michigan State has used 14 different starting lineups this season, as 10 different Spartans have started at least one game. Six different players, and each one of MSU's top four scorers, have missed multiple games due to injury or illness, for a total of 28 games missed. In 18 of 27 games, and 12 of 14 Big Ten contests, MSU has been without its full allotment of players due to injury. In nine games, the Spartans have been without at least two of their regular rotation players. The only game lost due to an injury suffered in practice was Branden Dawsonmissing the Dec. 28 game vs. New Orleans with a shin bruise, as he sat out just as a precaution. The good news for Michigan State is that the Spartans expect everyone back and healthy for the close of the regular season and the start of postseason play.

Rotating Starting Lineup, Part 2
Michigan State has used 13 different starting lineups in the last 22 games, and a total of 14 on the season. A large part of the rotating door has been the various injuries/illnesses to strike the Spartans. In fact, MSU's five primary starters (Keith Appling, Gary Harris, Branden Dawson, Adreian Payne, and Matt Costello) have all played in just 10 of 27 games. It began with Gary Harris missing three games (Mount St. Mary's, Oakland, North Florida) in a four-game stretch with an ankle injury and also coming off the bench at Texas. Matt Costello started six of the first eight games of the season, but then missed four straight with mononucleosis before returning for conference play. Branden Dawson sat out the New Orleans game with a shin bruise and Travis Trice missed the North Florida game with foot blisters and the Ohio State game due to illness. In addition, Adreian Payne (plantar fasciitis) and Keith Appling(hip pointer) missed significant amounts of practice in early/mid December. The Spartans have been hit especially hard recently as Payne recently returned with a right foot sprain which forced him to miss seven contests before returning vs. Penn State. Dawson suffered a broken bone in his right hand on Jan. 23 and has not played since, and Appling has a sore right wrist, first suffered against North Carolina, which forced him to miss three of the last five games.

Spartans In Overtime
Michigan State is 3-0 in overtime this season, including 2-0 at home. In fact, MSU has won its last seven overtime games, with its last loss coming to Minnesota in the 2010 Big Ten Tournament. The Spartans last had three overtime games in Big Ten play during the 2011 campaign.

Payne's Senior Season
After opting to bypass the NBA Draft and return to Michigan State, Adreian Payneis determined to make the most of his senior season. A preseason first-team All-American as selected by Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook, Payne ranks second on the team in scoring (16.7 ppg) and rebounding (7.5 rpg). He's posted a double-double in five games this season and 11 of his last 31 dating back to last season. Against Texas, he scored a career-high 33 points. He ranked in the Top 10 in the conference in both scoring and rebounding before falling out of the rankings due to not playing in enough games. He's captured Big Ten Player of the Week honors twice this season (Nov. 18 and Dec. 23). He returned to action against Penn State (Feb. 6), scoring 12 points in 18 minutes, after missing the previous seven games while resting a sprained foot. Prior to the Penn State game, his last action came against Ohio State on Jan. 7, nearly one month earlier. Since his return, he's posted the first back-to-back 20-point games of his career with 24 points vs. Wisconsin and 20 vs. Northwestern, and with his 23 points at Purdue, he has scored 20 or more points in three of his four starts since injury.

Lending A Helping Hand
Michigan State is averaging 17.5 assists on the season, pacing the Big Ten and ranking sixth in the nation. With 472 assists on 748 made field goals, the Spartans are recording an assist on 63.1 percent of their baskets. MSU ranks first in the Big Ten and sixth nationally in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.6) (NCAA stats through Feb. 20). Keith Appling is second in the conference in assists (4.9 apg) and assist-to-turnover ratio (2.4). Four Spartans average two or more assists as Denzel Valentine (3.8 apg), Gary Harris (2.8 apg), and Travis Trice(2.5 apg) join Appling.

20-Win Seasons
With its 82-67 win over Penn State, MSU recorded its 14th 20-win season in the last 17 years, all under head coach Tom Izzo. Of the 22 20-win seasons in Spartan history, Izzo has been involved in 19 of them, 14 as a head coach and five as an assistant.

Next Man Up
There's no secret that the Spartans have been forced to deal with several injuries this season, but they understand that their opponents won't ease up, nor are they looking for any sympathy. Just as the Spartan football team employed the "Next Man Up" motto, with reserve linebacker Kyler Elsworth making the game-clinching fourth-down stop in the Rose Bowl, so too has the Spartan basketball team. For instance, in the seven games that Adreian Payne missed, Matt Costello averaged 7.0 points and 5.4 rebounds, compared to 2.6 points and 3.0 rebounds before that. Denzel Valentine also elevated his production, averaging 8.6 points and 7.4 rebounds in Payne's absence. Over the last 12 games, Costello is averaging 6.6 points and 4.4 rebounds and Valentine is averaging 9.3 points and 7.5 rebounds. When Branden Dawson went down Jan. 23, more opportunities opened in the Spartan lineup. First, Alvin Ellis III doubled his career high with 12 points against Michigan. Against Iowa on Jan. 28, Russell Byrd stepped up and hit a game-clinching 3-pointer in overtime after not playing in five of the first six Big Ten games, and not hitting a 3-pointer since Dec. 17.

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