EAST LANSING, Mich.— The Michigan State Spartans defeated the University of Michigan Wolverines 59-53 in a battle of unranked teams. MSU’s victory at the Breslin Center brought the team’s record to 3-1 in conference play, placing them in a five-way tie for first place in the Big 10. The 11-4 Spartans extended their winning streak to six games as well.
The Wolverines’ loss was the team’s fifth in 10 games. Michigan held a perfect 3-0 record in conference play before the matchup against MSU. At 9-6, Michigan has not enjoyed the season the team had hoped for, but with a now 3-1 record in Big 10 play, the Wolverines remain part of the five-way tie for first.
Both team’s struggled to connect on shots early in the game. Through the first seven minutes of play, Michigan held just a 5-3 lead over MSU. The play early on was sloppy. MSU committed five turnovers in the first five minutes alone, while Michigan committed three of their own.
The scoring picked up as the first half progressed. Propelled by a 13-4 run in the latter stages of the first half, the Spartans pulled ahead of the Wolverines, leading 27-18 at halftime.
Michigan’s comeback bid falls short in the second half
MSU extended its lead to 14 points in the early stages of the second half. However, the Spartans were unable to hold their sizeable lead as the Wolverines cut their lead to six. A 15-5 run by Michigan brought the score to an MSU 49-43 lead late in the second half. Despite the Wolverines’ late push, the Spartans held their lead through the buzzer.
Both teams’ offenses struggled in the slugfest. MSU shot 37.5 percent from the field, much lower than their season average of 44.7 percent. Likewise, Michigan shot 34.5 percent from the floor, significantly lower than their season average of 45.3 percent. From beyond the arc, the Wolverines could not get their shots to fall. The team went three-for-20 on three-point attempts. The Spartans faired somewhat better as six of the team’s 19 three-point shots found their mark.
Michigan State guards A.J. Hoggard leads the way in a rivalry win
MSU guard A.J. Hoggard finished the game tied for the team lead in scoring. Along with Malik Hall, Hoggard scored 15 points in the Spartans’ victory. Hoggard added six assists, four rebounds and two steals to his box score while committing only a single turnover.
In a game where senior forward Joey Hauser struggled from the floor, Hoggard’s 15 points were critical to MSU’s win. Hauser shot three-for-13 in the game, scoring seven points. While he struggled to score the ball, Hauser was able to collect 10 rebounds in the game, including two offensive boards. Senior guard Tyson Walker scored 14 points of his own as well.
The Spartans overcame their early turnover struggles. After committing seven turnovers in the first five minutes of the game, the Spartans turned the ball over seven times the rest of the way. MSU also out-rebounded and out-assisted Michigan 38-34 and 12-8 respectively.
Hunter Dickinson’s big night is not enough to overcome Michigan State
Michigan big man Hunter Dickinson led all scorers in the game with 18 points, going eight-for-16 from the floor and one-for-three from beyond the arc. The junior added seven rebounds and a single block in 30 minutes played. On many nights, an 18-point performance from Dickinson is enough to earn the Wolverines a win, he averages 18.7 points on the season.
However, Dickinson did not receive much help from anyone besides Kobe Bufkin and Jett Howard throughout the game. Bufkin, a sophomore guard, led the game in minutes played with 37. He scored 15 points on the night. He made his presence known on the defensive end of the court as he tallied three steals and a block. Howard scored 10 points in the matchup. He added three rebounds, two assists and a steal as well.
The Michigan State Spartans head to Madison as they take on the Wisconsin Badgers on Jan. 10 at 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast on ESPN.
The Michigan Wolverines continue their road trip as they take on the Iowa Hawkeyes on Jan. 12 at 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast on ESPN 2.
(Featured Image Credit: Nick King/Lansing State Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK)