Spartans fall to North Carolina

Spartans fall to North Carolina

No.1 Michigan State struggles in loss to Tar Heels.

Michigan State's undefeated streak to start the season came to an end Wednesday and it was an old foe that ended it.

North Carolina came into Breslin Center and outmuscled the top-ranked Spartans on its way to a 79-65 win.

North Carolina outrebounded Michigan State 49-38 and outscored the Spartans 44-28 in the paint.

It was the first time a No. 1-ranked team lost to an unranked team at home since Virginia Tech knocked off Wake Forest 78-71 in 2009.

The Tar Heels came out hot early, but the Spartans fought back to tie it going into halftime with a 13-2 run fueled by Adreian Payne.

The second half opened back and forth and the Spartans tied it 49-49 with a 3-pointer from Keith Appling, but went more than six minutes without a field goal as the Tar Heels went on a 16-5 run and broke the game open behind strong play from Brice Johnson and J.P. Tokoto. Tokoto had six points in a row in the run and had 12 total with 10 rebounds.

Appling left the game with an injury in the first half, but came back into the game. Gary Harris, who led the Spartans with 17 points, was visibly hindered after sitting out in practice lately with an ankle injury.

Matt Costello fought through the flu to play 17 minutes and have six points and four rebounds.

Kennedy Meeks led five Tar Heels in double-digits with 15 points.

Gary Harris led the Spartans with 17 points.

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