Spartans Drop Two Straight, Fall to #9 in AP Poll
By Billy Stacy. CREATED Feb 25, 2013
For the first time this season, the MSU men’s basketball team has lost two straight games, after faltering in the second half against Ohio State over the weekend, losing 68-60. With last week’s pair of losses against Indiana and the Buckeyes, the Spartans fell out of the AP Poll’s top-five, and were ranked #9 in this week’s poll. The last time a Tom Izzo team lost two straight took place last season, when the Spartans fell in back-to-back games, also against Indiana and Ohio State.
Michigan State will need to bounce back in a major way if they are going to avoid losing three straight games, as a second matchup with the Wolverines is next up on their schedule. Michigan jumped back into the top-5 this week, and is ranked #4 in the AP Poll after wins over Penn State and Illinois last week.
Junior guard Keith Appling has struggled in recent games, forcing Tom Izzo to bring back sophomore Travis Trice a bit earlier than he had hoped, after Trice suffered an injury against Illinois in late January. Trice has missed a total of 9 games with various injuries this season.
Appling has only reached double digits once since the first matchup against Michigan, while freshman Gary Harris has been leading the Spartans in scoring during that stretch, averaging over 16 per game.
The Wolverines will travel to Happy Valley to take on the Nittany Lions this week before welcoming Izzo and the Spartans to Ann Arbor next weekend.