12TH-ranked Michigan State overcame a terrible first half and a slew of injuries to somehow post a double-digit win last night at home over number-18 Minnesota 61-to-50. The victory keeps the Spartans tied with Michigan for second place in the Big Ten. The visiting Gophers led 20-to-18 at halftime. But M-S-U woke up after the break and an 11-to-0 run midway through the second half put the Spartans up 39-to-29.
Minnesota later closed the gap to four but that was a close as they could get. Gary Harris played with a lot of pain from a bad back while posting a game-high 15 points for Michigan State. Keith Appling added 14 points before leaving the floor late in the contest with an apparent dislocated right shoulder
Appling later said his shoulder popped out then went right back in and he hopes to play Saturday at Purdue. Center Adreian Payne got elbowed in the face and missed part of the second half with a bloody nose but finished with 11 points and 7 rebounds in the win. Michigan State is now 19-and-4 and 8-and-2 in the conference. There was a major top-5 upset last night with fifth ranked Kansas falling 62-to-55 at TCU. And in the Mid-American Conference, Western Michigan scored the final seven points of the game for its seventh straight victory with the Broncos beating Kent State 82-to-76 in Kalamazoo.