Mar 8, 2013, 12:10 AM EDT
Keith Appling scored 14 of his 19 points in the second half as No. 10 Michigan State smothered No. 22 Wisconsin on Thursday night, opening up the second half with an 16-2 run over the first eight minutes to take a 21 point lead en route to a 58-43 win over the Badgers.
The Spartans needed a game like this after losing three in a row, and not just because they finally got a win. They needed Appling to break out of the dreadful slump he had been in for three-and-a-half games. Appling scored 18 points in those three losses. He had eight assists and nine turnovers during that stretch. He shot 5-23 from the floor and snapped a stretch of 17 straight missed threes by going 1-7 on Thursday.
Moving forward, that is what matters.
Because it doesn’t really matter that Michigan State’s win means they still have a shot at winning a share of the Big Ten regular season title, or that this win means that they will get one of those top four seeds in the Big Ten tournament as long as they don’t do something dumb like lose to Northwestern at home.
What matters is that Appling snapped out of his funk. At the end of the day, he’s the most important player for the Spartans because a) he’s streaky and inconsistent; b) when he’s playing well, he’s really good at being the kind of dynamic playmaker that the Spartans need; and c) no one else on the Spartans can do what he can do at that spot.
They can’t win in March without Appling.
So regardless of what the score was tonight, the takeaway from Thursday is that Appling got it going offensively.
You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.
- Academic issues expected to sideline St. John’s point guard for fall semester, maybe longer 5
- North Carolina announces receipt of Notice of Allegations from NCAA 2
- LSU’s ’25 is coming’ campaign doesn’t try to hide that they’re monetizing Ben Simmons 1
- Looking Forward: Catching up on the American’s offseason 1
- Five-star center Caleb Swanigan has committed to Purdue 8
- Friday’s most important rule changes only matter if refs actually enforce them 2
- Looking Forward: Catching up on the SEC’s offseason 1
- Sports book lists Maryland as early favorite to win national title (9)
- Five-star center Caleb Swanigan has committed to Purdue (8)
- John Calipari is selling his program when he says national title isn’t a goal (5)
- Frank Kaminsky writes a farewell letter to Wisconsin fans (5)
- Academic issues expected to sideline St. John’s point guard for fall semester, maybe longer (5)