Izzo Questions His Team's Grit After 68-60 Loss

Izzo questions his team's grit after 68-60 loss Associated Press Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Published 8:05 pm, Sunday, February 24, 2013 After being outscored by 14 points in the second half of Sunday's disappointing 68-60 loss at No. 18 Ohio State, the coach of the fourth-ranked Spartans took a hard look at his team as it heads into its final three regular-season games and the postseason. The loss crippled the Spartans' hopes of catching up with top-ranked Indiana, which now leads the Big Ten race by two full games with four remaining. Freshman Gary Harris had 14 points, Derrick Nix 12 and Adreian Payne 12 points and 15 rebounds for the Spartans (22-6, 11-4), who have dropped two in a row after winning 11 of 12. The Spartans have a week off until playing at archrival Michigan, then complete a stretch of four games against ranked opponents with a home game on March 7 against Wisconsin. Aaron Craft, who had scored just 17 points in his last three games, shredded the Spartans' defense on a succession of slashing drives right through the heart of the lane to score a career-high 21 points for the Buckeyes (20-7, 10-5). [...] Thomas did have a big 3-pointer that got Ohio State going after the Spartans built a 36-27 lead on Payne's baseline jumper 90 seconds into the second half. After a free throw by Appling, Evan Ravenel, the only senior on Ohio State's roster, was fouled and he hit both shots to push the lead to 65-60 with 1:13 remaining.

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    "I haven't seen the same grit since after that Michigan game," he said of a ... But it's a mark of how dissatisfied he is with his team's play over the last three games that he continually reflected on what was plaguing the Spartans. The loss crippled ...
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