Spartans 64, Wolverines 54
EAST LANSING, Mich. (WWJ/AP) – The Michigan State Spartans exacted revenge on cross-state rival beating the Michigan Wolverines 64-54 on Sunday.
As heard on WWJ 950 – the Wolverines had three players in double figures but it wasn’t enough as they fall to the Spartans in East Lansing. The Wolverines won a close match-up last month when the two teams met in Ann Arbor.
“Their inside presence was very difficult,” said U-M head coach John Beilein. “We had to work for every point tonight … Draymond Green was tremendous today.”
“Maybe we didn’t boxout … our kids really fought hard but we can do better than that,” added Beilein.
Draymond Green had 14 points and 16 rebounds to lead No. 9 Michigan State to a 64-54 win over No. 23 Michigan, backing up his guarantee of a victory.
The Spartans (18-5, 7-3 Big Ten) ended a three-game skid in the rivalry and moved into sole possession of second place in the conference behind third-ranked Ohio State.
The Wolverines (17-7, 7-4) haven’t won or lost consecutive games in nearly a month.
Green played, as he promised, with a sprained left knee and the senior had the best game of his career in the series.
Michigan’s Tim Hardaway Jr. missed his first six shots and had a season-low four points.
Teammate Trey Burke had made only one shot before his 3-pointer just before halftime pulled the Wolverines within eight points. Burke finished with 11 points.
The Spartans took control with a 17-7 run early in the first half and pulled away with eight straight points to take a 57-40 lead with just under 3 minutes left after Brandon Wood tracked down an offensive rebound and made a 3-pointer. Michigan State outrebounded the Wolverines 40-16, including 12-3 on the offensive glass. Green matched Michigan’s total by himself.
Keith Appling and Branden Dawson each scored 10 points and Wood added nine for the Spartans, who made 52 percent of their shots and held the Wolverines to sub-40-percent shooting.
Michigan’s Zach Novak scored 14 points and Jordan Morgan had 11.
The Spartans held Michigan scoreless for 5-plus minutes, but they were tied at 2 after making only one shot and turning the ball over four times.
Michigan State started clicking on offense while the Wolverines continued to struggle, leading 19-9 midway through the first half.
The Spartans made 59 percent of their shots in the first half with eight players making a shot.
Michigan, meanwhile, had eight turnovers by halftime – three fewer than it averages in a game – and shot 39 percent.
The Wolverines tried to get Hardaway going early in the second half, but he missed four shots in the opening minutes before finally making a shot with 15:26 left in the game.
Michigan State built a 16-point lead with just under 13 minutes left soon after the usually composed Michigan coach John Beilein was called for a technical foul for arguing a call. A few minutes later, the Spartans’ bench was called for a technical. Green was the center of attention before the game, playing after being injured in a loss Tuesday night at Illinois and saying only death could have kept him off the court.
The do-it-all forward guaranteed Michigan State would win Sunday’s game after his floating 10-footer and tip-in attempt in the final seconds of last month’s setback in Ann Arbor. Michigan had won three straight times in the rivalry for the first time since winning five in a row from 1996 to 1998.
Green, whose previous high against Michigan was 10 points, made a fadeaway jumper and left-handed layup to restore the 10-point lead on ensuing possessions after the Wolverines cut their deficit to single digits midway through the second half.
Michigan State improved to 14-0 at the Breslin Center, which seemed louder than it has been in years, and left the Wolverines with only one win on an opponent’s home court this season.
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