Michigan State squandered another opportunity to sit alone atop the Big Ten standings, as they lost to Nebraska, 60-51, Sunday afternoon at the Breslin.
The Cornhuskers came out hot, hitting four of their first five attempts.
“We try to make a big deal about the first four or five possessions,” MSU head coach Tom Izzo said. “I sat there and watched a team just shrivel up with a couple of bad plays.”
Michigan State all but shut Nebraska out of the lane and the Huskers relied heavily on the three-pointer to emerge victorious. Thirty of their 53 shots were from beyond the arc.
The Spartans struggled with Nebraska’s zone defense and did not shoot well. The team shot just under 21 percent on the game from three-point range and 34 percent from the field.
The abysmal numbers aside, Michigan State still had a shot to tie late in the game.
An Adreian Payne layup with four minutes to play pulled the Spartans within two. After a missed three by Kenny Kaminski, Nebraska’s Terran Petteway hit a three-pointer that looked like it would seal the victory.
However, Gary Harris got fouled on MSU’s next possession to keep the comeback alive. A missed breakaway layup by Payne led to a layup on the other end for Nebraska to kill any hope for a comeback comeback.
Izzo was not surprised at the outcome.
“We got what we deserved,” Izzo said.
Harris led Michigan State with 18 points despite shooting 5-15 from the field and 1-7 from three point range. Harris also collected seven rebounds.
Payne was the only other Spartan in double figures. He had 11 points and was one board shy of a double-double.
Keith Appling dressed for the first time in two weeks, but played limited minutes. He finished with two points and three rebounds.
Michigan State’s next game is Thursday on the road at against Purdue. Tip is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Andrew Hayes is the host of Impact Izzone for Impact Sports.
Photo: Scott Wasserman/Impact Sports