Winning three of its last four games sparked the Wolverines’ confidence heading into East Lansing Sunday.
A team that didn’t have the same confidence was the Michigan State Spartans. Having lost three games in a row, the Spartans knew they needed to start winning games if they wanted a chance to make the tournament.
In a sudden change of events, MSU took away all of Michigan’s confidence and grew some of its own, defeating the Wolverines 70-62 at the Breslin Center.
That confidence wasn’t there early on, but the Wolverines began to hit their stride late in the first half. The score was 32-28 in favor of MSU to end the first half.
Michigan’s confidence really came out early in the second half in the form of Derrick Walton, Jr. He hit two quick 3-pointers to tie the game at 34 a piece. He finished with 24 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists. 14 of his 24 points came from the free-throw line.
But MSU all of a sudden went on a 10-2 run, and continued its dominance throughout the most part in the second half.
Mo Wagner and MSU’s Nick Ward got tangled up heading into a timeout, causing some pushing and shoving. Both players got double technical fouls because of it.
It didn’t hurt the Wolverines as much as the play from Zak Irvin today. Are you ready to see his stat line? Brace yourself...
0 points, 0-for-8 field goals, 0-for-2 on 3-pointers, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 3 turnovers.
On the other end, Miles Bridges had a spectacular day for MSU. He had a double-double with 15 points and 13 rebounds. He also had 3 steals, 2 blocks and 2 assists.
At the end of the day, there were long periods of time where Michigan would be scoreless, and MSU would not miss during those stretches. The Wolverines were a combined 19-for-55 (34.5 percent) and 7-of-25 (28 percent) from 3-point land.
It was an off-day for the Maize and Blue in large part because of the atmosphere they were in. Playing at the Breslin Center is never easy, especially for a team as streaky as Michigan.
Michigan returns home to play Ohio State on Saturday. They will try and seek revenge on the Spartans in nine days at Crisler Arena.