Jan 15, 2014; Evanston, IL, USA; Northwestern Wildcats guard Drew Crawford (1) and Michigan State Spartans guard Gary Harris (14) go for the ball during the second half at Welsh-Ryan Arena. The Michigan State Spartans defeated the Northwestern Wildcats 54-40. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Adreian Payne Still Helps Spartans Win Despite Injury


The Michigan State Spartans had to play with Adreian Payne against the Northwestern Wildcats.  Payne’s injury is the latest adversity brought about by injury the Spartans have had to face this season.

It’s the latest test of their resilience as they tried to beat the upset minded Northwestern Wildcats on the road.

Test Passed.

Guard Gary Harris led the Michigan State Spartans in scoring with 14 as the Spartans were forced to start four guards again.Matt Costello started in place of Payne and added 4 points in the Spartans 54-40 victory over the Wildcats.

Branden Dawson came off the bench and helped pick up the slack on the glass by grabbing 11 rebounds. Dawson has been fighting an illness this week.

Northwestern came into this game smelling an upset after taking down #23 Illinois on Sunday.  But the Spartans would have none of that and led the entire game extending their win streak to 9 games.

Even without Adreian Payne at full strength the Spartans are still blowing through Big Ten competition. But despite injury Payne is still finding a way to help the team.

Frustrating for him,” Izzo said. “Although I have to admit he actually had better suggestions on the bench than he had in the games. I appreciated him as
an assistant. I thought he did a good job in the huddles, and sometimes guys grow when they don’t play. They appreciate playing.”

It is great to see Payne honing his leadership ability while on the bench.  That quality could mean the world to the Spartans in the Big Ten and NCAA tournaments.

 

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