January 20, 2013

Izzo: 'It was a war, and we survived it'

EAST LANSING - No. 18 Michigan State (16-3, 5-1) moved into first place in the Big Ten with a 59-56 victory over No. 11 Ohio State (13-4, 3-1) at the Breslin Center on Saturday.

It was the fifth consecutive conference win for the Spartans, who took a three-point lead on a pair of Keith Appling free throws with 7.9 seconds remaining before clinching victory when Shannon Scott missed wildly with a 3-point attempt that would have forced overtime.

"It is a classic game in different ways," said Michigan State coach Tom Izzo "I just think both teams played hard. You get these rivalries, in the 2000s it was Wisconsin and Illinois and then it became Ohio State and us. You have these couple of years where games are so tight and so important. I just look at it as it was a war, and we survived it."

Appling finished the game with 15 points to lead the Spartans in scoring. The junior point guard added four rebounds, three assists, and a pair of steals in the victory. Adreian Payne was next with 14 points on 5-of-6 shooting while playing a season high 32 minutes.

Ohio State star DeShaun Thomas led all players with 28 points.

Click below for Izzo's postgame press conference:

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