Michigan State vs Michigan

Michigan tops Michigan State, takes lead in Big Ten


ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Over the last few weeks, as opposing defenses keyed in on him, Michigan's Nik Stauskas has remained patient, hesitant to force anything at the offensive end.

Then Michigan State came to town -- and that all changed in a big way.

Stauskas scored 21 of his 25 points in the second half, repeatedly making contested shots from the perimeter to help the 20th-ranked Wolverines to a 79-70 win over the 13th-ranked Spartans on Sunday. Michigan rallied from an 11-point first-half deficit and wrested first place in the Big Ten from its in-state rival.

"I just came out with the mindset in the second half that I wasn't going to be stopped," Stauskas said. "Once I made a couple shots, it kept going from there."

Caris LeVert added 23 points for the Wolverines (19-7, 11-3), who won both regular-season meetings against Michigan State. Michigan has now won six of its last eight in the series.

The Spartans (22-6, 11-4) started well but were only up 36-34 at halftime. Then Stauskas and LeVert led a second-half charge. The Wolverines trailed 52-51 before going on a 13-0 run that sent the Crisler Center crowd into delirium.

Michigan scored 45 points in the second half Sunday -- after blitzing the Spartans for 50 after halftime in an 80-75 win in East Lansing last month.

"The first game, I was very proud of our effort. This game, we looked tired," Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said. "I'm not very proud of our effort."

Gary Harris scored 21 points for Michigan State.

Michigan now has a chance to earn its second Big Ten title in three years after tying for the championship in 2012. The Wolverines have home games against Minnesota and Indiana still to come, along with trips to Purdue and Illinois. Michigan State has home games against Illinois and Iowa followed by a trip to Ohio State.

Stauskas was terrific in Michigan's win at Michigan State last month, but he had not scored more than 16 points in a game since then. Perhaps he was letting teams take him out of the offense too easily, but at 6-foot-6, if Stauskas makes up his mind that he's going to shoot, he usually can.

"He's looking for a perfect play all the time, and shooters got to shoot it," Michigan coach John Beilein said. "Sometimes what's a bad shot for others is a really good shot for him."

With the Wolverines down 48-43, Stauskas scored seven straight points to give Michigan the lead. When the Spartans edged back ahead by one, Stauskas answered with a 3-pointer, and it soon become clear that there wasn't much Michigan State could do to keep him from simply shooting over defenders on the perimeter.

A 3-pointer by Stauskas from the right wing put Michigan ahead 59-52, then LeVert added a 3-pointer and a dunk.

With the Spartans wearing down, Jon Horford dunked for Michigan to make it 68-56 -- and that ended a stretch of 23 straight Michigan points by Stauskas or LeVert.

Michigan fans serenaded the Spartans with a chant of "little brother" toward the end. The Spartans have battled injuries throughout this season -- Adreian Payne and Brandon Dawson missed the first meeting with Michigan. Dawson was still out Sunday with his broken hand, but Payne is back, and he had 12 points and 11 rebounds.

Keith Appling, who has been dealing with a wrist problem, scored only six points for Michigan State.

"Yeah, I fell on the wrist again, but I couldn't come out of the game," Appling said. "It's very frustrating right now, because there are things I just can't do, but I can't let that be an excuse. I'm the quarterback of this team, like coach always says, and I have to be out there leading."

Michigan, of course, has been playing without big man Mitch McGary for over two months, but the Wolverines have overcome his back-related absence thus far. Glenn Robinson III scored 15 points Sunday, including an alley-oop dunk from a driving Stauskas that made it 72-61.

Michigan State made 17 shots from 3-point range in its previous game against Purdue, and the Spartans were locked in early in this one. Payne dunked on freshman Zak Irvin while drawing a foul, and the three-point play gave Michigan State a 22-11 lead.

The Wolverines responded with an immediate 10-0 run that included 3-pointers by Spike Albrecht and LeVert and a breakaway dunk by Irvin.

LeVert scored 14 points in the first half, and his 3-pointer in the final seconds cut Michigan State's lead to two.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
Michigan State #13 (22-6)363470
Michigan #20 (19-7) «344579
MICHST:G. Harris 21 Pts
MICHST:A. Payne 11 Reb
MICHST:D. Valentine 6 Ast
MICH:N. Stauskas 25 Pts
MICH:G. Robinson III 5 Reb
MICH:N. Stauskas 5 Ast

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Michigan StateMichigan
Denzel Valentine
Nik Stauskas
Michigan State Spartans
G. Harris, G397-173-314121
D. Valentine, G365-70-086413
A. Payne, C314-94-10111212
K. Appling, G253-40-01236
M. Costello, F102-21-12045
T. Trice, G272-40-01026
K. Kaminski, F131-31-12023
G. Schilling, F122-20-00014
R. Byrd, G50-00-00020
A. Ellis III, G20-00-02020
A. Gauna, FDid Not Play
D. Chapman, GDid Not Play
B. Dawson, G-FDid Not Play
K. Wetzel, GDid Not Play
C. Wollenman, FDid Not Play
T. Bohnhoff, FDid Not Play
Totals 26-489-1528132470
Michigan Wolverines
C. LeVert, G397-156-833223
G. Robinson III, F386-123-751115
N. Stauskas, G379-134-635025
D. Walton Jr., G281-52-24335
J. Morgan, F221-22-22044
J. Horford, F161-10-03152
S. Albrecht, G131-30-01213
Z. Irvin, G71-30-00022
M. Bielfeldt, FDid Not Play
M. McGary, FDid Not Play
A. Dakich, GDid Not Play
M. Donnal, FDid Not Play
C. McConnell, GDid Not Play
S. Lonergan, FDid Not Play
B. Anlauf, FDid Not Play
Totals 27-5417-2521151879
Big Ten
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Ohio St.0-04-020
Penn St.0-05-171
Michigan St.0-02-1242
Other games
SMU 64 Final
SETON 71 Final