EAST LANSING—After the Michigan State football team knocked off the Boise State Broncos under the lights in September, the No. 15 Spartan basketball team faced the men’s team of Boise, who came into the Breslin Center unranked and looking for an upset.
The game began with Gary Harris heading to the locker room early due to a shoulder injury. Adjustments were made, as the Spartans went with a smaller line-up of Russell Byrd and Brandon Kearney throughout the game. The first 10 minutes featured up-and-down basketball, highlighted by lead changes and fast breaks.
Leading the Spartans at the end of the fist half was Keith Appling, shooting 4-7 from the field with 11 points and 3 assists.
In the second half, the Spartan’s led Boise 56-54 with 9:19 to go, but Center Derrick Nix was given a flagrant foul coupled by a Tom Izzo technical foul. The refs gave Izzo the technical because of constant jabber throughout both halfs.
Boise took the lead back for the first time since the first half, knocking down all four technical free throws taking a 56-58 lead.
The Spartans rampaged back, with two back-to-back dunks by Denzel Valentine and Keith Appling, making it 66-62 with 3:20 to go.
Boise trailed 68-70 with less than a minute in regulation, until Keith Appling hit a lay-up while being fouled, giving the Spartans a three-point play. The Spartans clung to their lead and never looked back, defeating Boise 74-70.
This marked the 2nd meeting against Boise in 30 years for the Spartans. Appling played all 40 minutes while leading the Spartans with 22 points, seven assists, and five rebounds. The Spartans also finished 16-25 from the free-throw line. The Boise State Broncos stuck right with a strong rebounding Spartan team, totaling 24 opposed to the Spartan’s 28. Michigan State now improves to 3-1, with their next game against Oakland University Friday, November 23rd at Breslin.