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Michigan State survives Nebraska and Branden Dawson injury scare

BRESLIN CENTER — This would have been a crippling defeat for Michigan State, had it fallen at home to lowly Nebraska.

Perhaps no one else in the Big Ten will take that loss on their home court.

However, the bigger story from this one — beyond MSU’s 66-56 narrow home escape (much closer than the score) — is Branden Dawson’s  injury scare and, that it appears to have only been a scare.

With 14 minutes left, Dawson stole the ball and looked as if he’d cruise in for a dunk. But as he came down, his knee buckled, sending him sprawling on the court and clutching his left knee.

But what looked like redux of last March 4, when he tore his ACL, wasn’t.

Dawson returned to the court three minutes later, jogging up to coach Tom Izzo on the bench and then checking to a standing ovation.

MSU’s season almost ended tonight, in some ways. Minus Dawson, this isn’t a team capable of much of a run.

The question of whether it is with him remains, as well. But at least MSU can figure it out at 3-1 in the Big Ten.

The pressing issue now might be the health of freshman Gary Harris, whose left shoulder popped out the other night against Iowa. He played with a brace tonight and finished 1-for-11, with one huge three, but otherwise didn’t look like himself offensively. Like Dawson, Harris’ health is paramount to this MSU season.

Izzo said afterward, “In no way shape or form am I concerned about Gary Harris.”

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17 Responses to Michigan State survives Nebraska and Branden Dawson injury scare

  1. avatar Spartan 81 says:

    That last two and a half minutes was championship caliber. Harris clutch three is the kind of shot that wins championships. Dawson closed the game out with authority. If you disregard the first37minutes this was a good win. Payne-Nix was impressive 31 points aside.

  2. avatar Ricky says:

    Graham was the lengthy discussion between the coaches at the end of the game related to the final dunk? Miles appeared perturbed.

  3. avatar Griff325 says:

    It seems like every time I read this blog graham seems to point out every negative without highlighting the positive aspects. E.g Derrick Nix and Dawson’s performance or the fact that we have won 3 in a row in the Big Ten. No wonder no one posts on here any more. One glimpse at this blog one would think we are a 9-9 team. Just relax we will be fine! This is a kind of team that is looking for its personality and will come together by March.

    • avatar gm says:

      that is couch’s mo. Dude loves the maize and blue and hates himself for taking this job. So he continues to dump on State every chance he gets until the newspaper in AA reaches out to him to cover the slappies. Just a stepping stone for him, he will be gone soon. Missing Rexrode, he was objective and positive at the same time, high caliber product. This guy is a joke..

    • avatar Spartan 81 says:

      Couch Hunters is an American reality series that airs on LSJ . LSJ created two spin-off blogs that follow a format similar to the original Hey Joe.

  4. avatar SteveL says:

    I think this game said more about us then it did The Cobs. It should have not been this much of a struggle in our building. I don’t see the type of progression I would like to see as we enter into the meat of the season. A disturbing performance like this against a much more inferior team does nor bode well as we move forward. We simply cannot play like this when we meet the more polished teams of the league in the coming weeks. Yes, it is a win but I sure didn’t like the taste of what I had on my plate(floor) in this one. I am very concerned going forward.

    • avatar MSU Owns Denard says:

      Steve, remember, scUM only beat NEB by 15 at home. NEB takes off 35 seconds and is very efficient with the basketbally. What’s more important is Harris was 0-10 shooting but calmly nailed the dagger 3, the big men picked up the slack, and our PG had a horrible game yet we still recorded a double digit win. People were talking we weren’t going to make the NCAA’s after we lost to Miami, yet we will be there again. Our 3 losses are at 12-3 Miami, in Germany to 12-3 UCONN, and at 15-2 Minnesota, none of those 3 are horrible losses and we had chances to win in each of those games. We will be just fine.

    • avatar AAsparty says:

      I dunno, we got some great play out of the bigs and we managed to close this one with Harris off of his game, Appling scoring in single digits and Dawson with a wonky knee, I know it wasn’t Duke we were playing but they showed some adaptability and perseverance last night…

      • avatar MSU Owns Denard says:

        oh and we gave # 6 Kansas their only loss, after the polls come out today Kansas will probably jump to # 3 or # 4, let’s give our boys some credit and not let Couch bring everyone down !

  5. avatar 79 Spartan says:

    UNL shot lights out for 30+ minutes, even if they had some open looks, they don’t normally shoot the rock like that.

    BTW: I thought Miles was talking/apologizing about his player undercutting BJ causing BJ to go down.

    Again, the bigs were huge, yet poor sub work from Byrd and Gauna, made TI give ‘em the hook. Maybe give Coltello some PT during the game. He won’t be redshirted, so…

  6. avatar GreenGuy says:

    Well – I was wrong. Earlier in the season – on this blog – I suggested MSU would struggle to get to 20 W’s prompting “well deserved” criticism. With the last two dramatic wins over B10 powerhouses Iowa and Nebraska…allow me to eat my humble pie. Barring any further injury to either Dawson or Harris, MSU will clear 20 wins, but will be schooled by osu, IU, and to my immense displeasure…the weasels. Note to TI – “energy” is not this team’s problem…the ability to knock down a shot from anything longer than 10 – 12 feet is. 4 – 26 by the guards and wing players…???? Are you kidding me?

    At the risk of drawing the ire of this blog once again, I’d say that Russell Byrd and Alex Gauna may be great young men…but do not belong on a B10 hoop roster. Byrd’s time on the floor in the first half was painful to watch. The kid probably deserves a fresh start at a MAC program…Ball State maybe. As for Gauna, everyone claims he can shoot the rock – something this program desperately needs. However, with Izzo refusing to play zone, Gauna is exposure waiting to happen in man-defense.

    Early prediction – MSU is out of the B10 tournament with a 1st round upset…then exits the dance in the second round to a team that plays aggressive match-up zone defense. 4-26 + bad FT shooting in a deja vu moment.

  7. avatar Jeffrey Lubeck says:

    This team is a bit puzzling, but we will learn a great deal about them in the next two games. 1.) Can they go on the road and swipe a victory (again) in hostile territory against a team that is struggling – but knows us down to our shoelaces. 2.) Can we take on a high profile squad and hold serve “so-to-speak.”

    If MSU can accomplish both we will remain (and have earned) legitimate entry in the conversation for B1G Title as of January 2013.

    It is my feeling that MSU has more versatility in its available weapons and not as volatile in its emotional level of play (e.g., lose in Iowa City by only scoring 36 points but ascend to the Final Four). On the other hand the loss of Kearney has us with one of the shortest real player rotation we have seen in years. This team does play lock-down D in the final minutes similar to all our deep run teams from the past. However it does seem more susceptible to the three off of a switch and a bucket from the dribble drive to the lane. This last point has me quite concerned regarding our match-up with the team located 63 miles to the south.

    • avatar Spartan 81 says:

      Then we will have to build a 20 point lead and hang on for dear life. Very good points Sir.
      I think if this team weathers the gauntlet on the positive side and is 6-3 at the halfway point they are right where Izzo needs them to be. Next five games will tell us a lot. Thanks for participating in todays edition of Couch Hunters thereby raising the bar and his post count.

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