In their first game without Keith Appling since he arrived on campus, the No. 9 Michigan State Spartans dismantled Penn State 82-67 Thursday night.
The Spartans’ other starting senior, Adreian Payne, played for the first time since January. He came in off the bench and scored 12 points in just 18 minutes of play.
“We missed him,” sophmore Matt Costello said. “He’s not going to be the AP everybody knows for a little while as he gets back into the swing things.”
Michigan State jumped out to a 21-8 lead in the first half and never looked back. Kenny Kaminski led the charge with 13 points in the half on 5-6 shooting.
The Spartans led 46-30 at halftime. Penn State was able to pull within 14 at one point in the second half, but were never close to a comeback.
Kaminski finished the game leading all scorers with a career high 19 points. He shot 7-9 from the field and 5-6 from three-point range.
Five Spartans finished in double figures including Denzel Valentine who recorded his third double-double of the season, scoring 11 points and collecting as many rebounds.
“I thought he played phenomenal,” head coach Tom Izzo said. “I thought it was one of Denzel’s best games.”
Gary Harris only shot 5-16 from the field, but contributed 14 points and five rebounds.
Izzo announced shortly before tip-off that Appling would be out with a wrist injury. Izzo said there is no timetable for Appling’s return.
“(The wrist’s) been getting worse and worse,” Izzo said.
When asked if Appling will be back Sunday for Wisconsin, Izzo said, “If he can play, he will play.”
Michigan State faces one of its toughest road games of the year Sunday as they head to Madison, Wis. to take on the Wisconsin Badgers. Tip-off is scheduled for 1 p.m.
Andrew Hayes is the host of Impact Izzone for Impact Sports.
Photo: David Defever/Impact Sports