Michigan State basketball coach, Tom Izzo, addresses the media after winning 62-44 over the Ohio State on Sunday, February 17, 2019, in East Lansing.
Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press
EAST LANSING – Nick Ward is late for the 11th state of Michigan basketballThe bench after halftime in Sunday's 62-44 win over the Ohio State.
When he returned to Breslin's central court, the young man had his left hand – his firing hand – tightly wrapped in green tape and did not start the second half. Ward finally tried to overcome the pain twice but did not play the 13:25 final of the Spartans victory.
MSU coach Tom Izzo said he was not sure about the specificity of the injury or whether it meant Ward could miss some time for the MSU, who will face Rutgers on Wednesday and will travel to Michigan on Sunday.
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"It was felt that he could have dislocated a finger or something here," Izzo said. "I will not know before going through all the medical procedures, but it was a problem for us in the second half. …
"We thought maybe he could go, but he just felt like he could not go much."
Nick Ward, of Michigan State, right, talks with Joshua Langford, center, and Jack Hoiberg, left, while he was on the bench during the second half of the year. NCAA College Basketball Game against Ohio State on Sunday, February 17, 2019 in East Lansing, Michigan (Photo11: Al Goldis, AP)
Ward scored nine points and four rebounds at halftime. He came back in the game 59 seconds into the last period and played two stints after a half-time total of 3:30, with no shot but two rebounds.
It was unclear how he was injured, but Izzo said it had happened late in the first half.
"I did not even see him. I do not know if he fell or was hit by a rebound, "said Izzo. "But when they came in, I mean, they said on the bench that he had hurt her hand. … It hurt then, and they thought that there was something wrong then. "
Ward, who was not available for interviews after the match, spent most of his time sitting on the bench, using his right hand to support his left hand or standing, his left hand stuck to his chest while he was visibly embarrassed. The band extended from the bottom of the left wrist, around the middle of the hand and wrapped his fingers.
"You want to be with your team and help your team," said Cassius Winston, who also spent time on the bench in the second half after committing his third foul. "But sometimes the best way for your team is not to be on the floor. And when we can not do that, it's really hard.
Ward came in Sunday with an average of 15.4 points and 6.7 rebounds per game for the Spartans, who are tied for first place with U-M at the top of the Big Ten standings, both half-games ahead of Purdue.
Contact Chris Solari at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @chrissolari. Learn more about the Michigan State Spartans and sign up for our Spartans newsletter.
LSJ columnist Graham Couch, Chris Solari's Beat Beat Writer and Shawn Windsor's Fast columnist analyze MSU's victory over the Ohio State
Graham Couch and Shawn Windsor and Chris Solari, Lansing State Journal