Spartans seeking first Crisler win since 2010

Michigan State has dropped four straight in Ann Arbor, looking to flip the script Tuesday as Branden Dawson and Travis Trice seek their first win at Crisler Center

Crisler Center has been the site of plenty of frustration for Michigan State in recent years.

The Spartans have dropped four in a row in Ann Arbor for the first time since 1987-90, leaving last year’s seniors Keith Appling and Adreian Payne without a win against MSU’s rival on the road.

Now, Branden Dawson and Travis Trice are facing the same fate if they walk off the court Tuesday night at Crisler Center with a defeat.

”Just to get a win down there would be definitely important,” Dawson said. “Last year, we came up short. We came close and just to get a win down there would be good for this program and good for myself and Travis.”

The most recent win for the Spartans came in 2010, when Kalin Lucas his a last-second jumper to give MSU a 57-56 win. But since then, it has been all Michigan and a lot of close losses for Michigan State

After a 70-63 loss in 2011, MSU came up one point short as Draymond Green missed a jumper at the buzzer and MSU fell 60-59. A year later gave Tom Izzo what he said “was a tough one” among the worst losses for him at Crisler Center.

With 20 seconds left, Michigan’s Trey Burke stripped Keith Appling in a 56-56 game and raced down court for an easy dunk and a two-point lead. Two more Burke steals and Michigan won 58-57.

”That would probably rank up there because of the way that it happened,” Izzo said.

Then last year, Michigan State opened up a 22-11 lead early and led by two at halftime, but Michigan came back to win 79-70 behind big games from Nik Stauskas and Caris LeVert.

Michigan State ultimately got the best of Michigan with a win in the Big Ten Tournament title game, but a win Tuesday would mean a lot for the Spartans – including Denzel Valentine, who will be looking to get a winning record against the Wolverines in his career.

”It’s a tough environment and they always play well when they play us,” Valentine said. “Me and Matt (Costello) are tied now in our games, so this is a big game. …

”We want to go up in our series so we’ve got to win a down there.”


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