Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Nick Ward Suffers Hairline Fracture In Left Hand; No Timetable For Return

MSU hopes he can be back by the end of the season

February 17, 2019 - 6:48 pm

EAST LANSING, Mich. (97.1 The Ticket) -- The Michigan State men's basketball team used a 20-2 game-closing run Sunday to put Ohio State in the dust and put the wraps on a 62-44 win that helped the Spartans stay tied atop the Big Ten standings with rival Michigan.

But the Spartans (21-5, 12-3 Big Ten) got some bad news after the game. Nick Ward suffered a hairline fracture in his left hand -- his shooting hand -- late in the first half and will be out indefinitely. Michigan State did not offer a timetable for his return to the team, but did say they hope he will be back before the end of the season.

The Spartans were able to overcome Ward's absence and a spell of foul trouble, thanks to the unlikely cast of Matt McQuaid, Kyle Ahrens, Kenny Goins and freshmen Foster Loyer and Thomas Kithier. That group of five combined for 23 of the team's 37 second-half points. 

They also helped hold the Buckeyes -- who were 0-for-5 from the floor over the final seven minutes of the game -- to just 13 points in the second half.

Ward had nine points in 19 minutes on Sunday. The junior forward is averaging 15.4 and 6.7 rebounds per game. 

Michigan State pays a visit to rival Michigan a week from Sunday in one of the most anticipated matchups between the two schools. Presuming the Spartans move up at least one spot in Monday's AP Top 25 Poll and the Wolverines don't slide too far after a loss at Penn State earlier this week, it could be the third top-10 matchup between the rivals. They split a pair of such games in 2013.