Keith Appling injury: Michigan State guard out with hip pointer

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sport

The No. 1 Spartans' veteran point guard went down hard against North Carolina.

Michigan State senior point guard Keith Appling left the first half of the No. 1 Spartans' game against the North Carolina Tar Heels on Wednesday with a hip pointer, according to Detroit Free Press blogger Chris Vannini. His status to return is unclear.

Appling hit the floor hard late in the first half, and the home crowd at the Breslin Center fell silent. He was examined briefly on the bench before walking to the locker room under his own power.

The Spartans trailed by as many as 14 points early in the first half before a surge brought the Spartans to a tie with about a minute left before halftime.

Appling has been a key for the Spartans in their climb to the top of the Associated Press top 25 this season. He nearly had a triple-double in Michigan State's 78-74 win over the Kentucky Wildcats on Nov. 12, finishing with 22 points, eight rebounds and eight assists. He had a season-high 27 points in a Nov. 23 win over the Oklahoma Sooners, and he's scored in double figures in six of Michigan State's seven games entering play Wednesday.

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