EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) - No. 9 Michigan State got off to a slow start Sunday and was unable to catch Nebraska at the very end.
And Spartans coach Tom Izzo said it was all his fault.
“We got what we deserved,” Izzo said after Michigan State’s 60-51 loss. “And the only guy to blame for that is me. It’s my job to get them ready to play, and we didn’t look ready to play.”
Gary Harris had 18 points on 5-for-15 shooting and Adreian Payne scored 11 for Michigan State (21-5, 10-3), which lost out on an opportunity to move a game ahead of No. 15 Michigan in the conference race.
The Spartans shot 34 percent (17 for 50), including a 5-for-24 performance from 3-point range.
“This was a game we were supposed to win,” Payne said. “But they wanted it more, and we didn’t really come through.”
“We really came in and played with a chip on our shoulder,” Petteway said.
It also was Nebraska’s first Big Ten win over Michigan State. The Cornhuskers have won three straight conference games for the first time since the 2010-11 season.
“It was just a matter of staying together,” Pitchford said. “We couldn’t let the crowd dictate the game.”
Nebraska jumped out to leads of 6-0 and 13-4. The Cornhuskers had a 32-25 advantage at halftime and held off a second-half surge by closing the game with a 9-2 run.
“I’ve only been here a year-and-a-half,” Nebraska coach Tim Miles said. “But for us, obviously, it’s a marquee win.”
It was Michigan State’s first loss to Nebraska since Dec. 10, 1994, when the Cornhuskers rallied for a 96-91 overtime victory over the 15th-ranked Spartans. Michigan State had won six of seven against Nebraska in East Lansing.
It’s been a difficult stretch of late for the Spartans, who have dropped four of seven after winning 11 in a row.
“I’m disappointed,” Izzo said. “I talked to my team at our pregame meal about the Super Bowl, about how if you come out and get punched in the mouth, you have to be ready to play all the time.”