In his first game back since January seventh, Adreian Payne posted 12 points in Thursday night’s game against the Penn state Nittany Lions. The star forward came off the bench last night, after missing a month due to an ankle injury. He provided a much needed boost to an injury plagued team.
"It was like Willis Reed coming off the bench," Penn State coach Patrick Chambers said referring to the New York Knicks captain's dramatic playoff appearance in 1970. "The crowd was going crazy – standing ovation."
While still missing forward Branden Dawson due to a broken hand, and senior guard Keith Appling sat with a wrist injury, the Spartans surged through. They definitely showed off their amazing roster depth as they cruised to a 82-67 over Penn state.
"I just feel that we're in the hunt right now," Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo said. "After what we've gone through, we're in the hunt, and that's what I told our players. You've got to be in the hunt before you get a chance to win a championship."
Kenny Kaminski led the Spartans in scoring with a team-high 19 points. He was lights out on the field, shooting 7-9, with 5-6 from behind the arch.
Sophomore guard Gary Harris posted 14 points with two assists, two steals and five rebounds.
Denzel Valentine was able to post a double-double with 11 points and 11 boards to go along with his six assist and four steals.
"Early in the game he was, I guess I'd say out of control there," Izzo said of Valentine. "We took him out and settled him down a little bit, and then I thought he played phenomenal."
Matt Costello posted 10 points, and even was 100% from the field, shooting 3-3. He also went 5-6 at the free-throw line.
The ninth ranked Spartans now post a 20-3 overall record, 9-1 in the Big Ten. On Sunday they will travel to Madison, Wisconsin to take on the Wisconsin Badgers in their only meeting this season. The game will air live on CBS at 1:pm Eastern Time.
- No. 3 Michigan State Spartans Surge Past the Indiana Hoosiers, 71-66
- No. 4 Michigan State Spartans Stay Atop the Big Ten After a Road Win Over the Illinois Illini, 78-62
- No. 5 Michigan Straight Spartans Win Second Straight in OT, This Time Against the Minnesota Golden Gophers, 87-75
- Michigan State Spartans Win on the Road Against the Northwestern Wildcats, 54-40
- No. 3 Michigan State Spartans Fall to No. 21 Michigan Wolverines, 80-75
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