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Izzo says Spartans "looked soft", lose to North Carolina 79-65 in Big 10/ACC CHallenge

Michigan State Spartans men's basketball head coach Tom Izzo. REUTERS/Scott Audette
Michigan State Spartans men's basketball head coach Tom Izzo. REUTERS/Scott Audette

EAST LANSING, MI (WTVB) - The top-ranked Michigan State Spartans were upset at home last night suffering their first loss of the season with North Carolina beating MSU 79-65 at the Breslin Center. The 5-and-2 Tar Heels pulled away in the second half for the double digit victory in the Big 10/ACC Challenge game. North Carolina never trailed while Michigan State used a 13-2 run late in the first half to at least manage a 32-32 tie at the break. But the Spartans saw their comeback chances dimmed when the Tar Heels used a 12-1 spurt to go up 65-52 with just over 6 minutes left in the second half.

Gary Harris netted 17 points to pace MSU with their record slipping to 7-1. Adreian Payne posted 16 points and eight rebounds in the defeat. After the game, Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said “We looked soft”, and called it one of the more disappointing performances of his career in East Lansing. It was the Spartans first loss to an unranked nonconference team at home in more than a decade.

Michigan State is off now for nine days with their next game a week from Saturday at Oakland University. This week’s Challenge series ended in a tie with each conference winning 6 games.              

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