MSU melts in second half at Ohio State, Big Ten title hopes gone

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Michigan State looked almost in control, ahead by as much as nine early in the second half, simply outplaying the Buckeyes.

Then, in an instant, the Spartans were struggling. They couldn’t score or defend. Mostly they couldn’t defend Buckeyes point guard Aaron Craft, who they strangely defended too closely as if here were Reggie Miller or Larry Bird.

Craft lit the Spartans up, on the drive, mostly going right, for 21 points and six assists, with 17 of those points coming in the second half.

At 11-4 in league play, MSU is all but out of the Big Ten race after this 68-60 road loss. Plenty still to play for, but most of it has to do with seeding and, next week, the Spartans trying to own rival Michigan.

More coverage to follow at greenandwhite.com

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7 Responses to MSU melts in second half at Ohio State, Big Ten title hopes gone

  1. avatar jerseyjohn says:

    i think i may see the problem besides the obvious headcase that appling has become..it seems that dawson is starting to mope at times the way raymar morgan used to..it is obvious that he does not like payne and wants all the glory for himself..also, he cannot dribble in traffic without turning the ball over..can’t stephens teach him that..he also seems to ignore izzo when getting yelled at..he’s a prima donna..that being said..i still think we beat u-scum and go further in the tounament than the rest of the big ten teams..

    • avatar Griff325 says:

      Good observation I noticed that as well! Payne has evolved into a better player than him though and he should use that as motivation rather than hatred. Appling will get out if his slump eventually and hopefully that will be against Michigan.

  2. avatar ron says:

    Appling is pulling his Kalin Lucas impression of a great point guard turned head case. As stated above Dawson is a prima-donna who we might be better off without next year, addition by subtraction…though a decent recruit for next year would be good. Nix… one minute looks great the other he looks lost and not boxing out. Its the Payne and Harris show and that is not enough to take us far in the tourney. It doesnt help that when these guys slump like all players do at times, there is NOOOOOOOOOOOO bench.. Byrd, Guana and even Costello, ( Mr. basketball? really?? ) who recruited these guys??

  3. avatar Spartan 81 says:

    I am only mildly disappointed going into this stretch we needed one win out of three . Now next Sunday is a must win to get that number3 seed in Auburn Hills. We have seven days off. We will take a war to Ann Arbor. Not our night but I am proud of the way we refused to be blown out and cut the lead to two

  4. avatar LO Spartan says:

    Dawson looks disinterested. He barely even broke a smile when he threw down the alley oop at the end of the first half. He doesn’t appear to be talking to anyone and he has a distant blank stare look about him. Almost as if he wishes he were anywhere else but where he is. It’s very concerning. MSU needs him engaged and energetic for him to be effective. Since he can’t dribble or shoot, his whole game is predicated on energy and athleticism. Without it, he has very little value right now. Izzo needs to find a way to reel him back in before its too late.

  5. avatar golfnpsych says:

    Aaron Craft is a point guard. Lately, Keith Appling is a lost soul. He was clearly outplayed by Trice today and Trice is still not back to being himself. Appling is not having any fun playing these games. He is thinking too much, dorking around instead of driving to the hoop. When he does drive to the hoop, he trips and nearly loses the ball. Just not the guy we saw earlier in the Big Ten season.
    And Dawson is simply not smart enough yet to be playing at this level. All the talent in the world cannot make up for really understanding the game, the team concept, and where everyone is on the floor.

    • avatar AAsparty says:

      I think what we’re seeing is the absence of a true leader on this team, I know Nix and Appling are always saying it’s a group effort, but they don’t have a Draymond Green-type to pull them out of funks and keep everyone’s head in the game, especially down the wire, this might be a bigger issue come March…

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