By Tim Polzer
January 16, 2013

Michigan State will start Wednesday night's Big Ten basketball game at Penn State without two starters following a morning altercation in the team's hotel.

Coach Tom Izzo announced via a statement that forward Branden Dawson and center Adreian Payne will be punished by beginning the game on the bench. Dawson, a 6-foot-6 forward, is averaging 10.5 points and 6.1 rebounds. Payne, a 6-foot-10 center, is averaging up 8.5 points and 7.2 rebounds. reported that Penn State police were investigating a verbal altercation that turned physical when punches were exchanged and one of the off-campus roommates shoved the other into a wall of the second-floor lobby of the Nittany Lion Inn.

No arrests or charges have been made or filed, according to police chief Tyrone Parham, who reported both players suffered minor cuts and did not seek medical attention.

"A scuffle that began as two players needling each other resulted in a dented wall," Izzo said. "We'll deal with this appropriately, and the players will willingly accept responsibility for paying for any property damage. I've spent my entire afternoon meeting with the players involved, and they are both sincerely remorseful.

"What makes matters even more confusing is that they are off-campus roommates. As a result of their actions, neither one will start tonight's game."

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