EAST LANSING, Mich. -- The University of Michigan men's basketball team fell 64-53 to No. 15/13 Michigan State Thursday (Jan. 27) at the Breslin Center. The Wolverines (12-8, 3-3 Big Ten) held tight to the Spartans (13-3, 5-1 Big Ten) in the first half, answering an early 10-0 MSU run with consistent scoring to keep within six at the break. But, despite shooting 55 percent (12-of-22) in the second frame, the Wolverines were unable to recover after the Spartans distanced themselves with an 8-0 run to lead off the half.
Michigan found bright spots in four double-digit scorers, including returning junior Chris Hunter (Gary, Ind./West Side HS), who put up 10 points in his first action since Jan. 5. Hunter shot a solid 4-of-7 from the floor with four rebounds and a perfect 2-for-2 from the line.
Sophomores Dion Harris (Detroit, Mich./Redford HS) and Courtney Sims (Roslindale, Mass./Noble & Greenough School) led the Wolverines with 12 points each. Harris shot 5-of-9 from the floor with two triples, while Sims put up 4-of-8 with four free throws and five boards. Freshman Ron Coleman (Romulus, Mich./Romulus HS) rounded out the double-digit scorers, putting up 10 points on 4-of-8 shooting with two three-point baskets.
The Wolverines began the contest in promising fashion, holding the Spartans scoreless over 3:45 while putting up seven points. Harris hit back-to-back layups for Michigan, followed by a three-point shot from Coleman to put U-M up 7-0 with 16:50 left in the first.
MSU connected for its first basket at 16:15 and proceeded to put together a 12-0 run. Michigan saw its lead dissolve as the Spartans picked up a quick 12-7 advantage with 10:48 left in the first. Hunter stopped the drought for the Wolverines, connecting for his first two points of the contest to restart the Michigan offense.
The Maize and Blue quietly crept up on the Spartans, scoring six points to Michigan State's two to come within one (16-15) with 7:18 remaining. Michigan was unable to take over, however, and the two teams traded baskets until the Wolverines once again found themselves within one (19-18) with 3:16 left in the first. U-M was unable grab the lead after seven-straight points from MSU, but managed to stay within six (28-22) heading into halftime thanks to four straight points from Sims.
Michigan had trouble leading off the second half, surrendering eight-straight points to the Spartans to fall behind 36-22 after just 2:13 of play. Coleman and Hunter broke MSU's streak with five points to come within nine (36-27), but were unable to take back the 14-point Michigan State advantage.
The Spartans' 8-0 run to lead off the half proved to be lethal for the Wolverines, who found themselves playing catch-up for the remainder of the contest. Despite putting up solid numbers and outscoring the Spartans 31-28 for the rest of the half, Michigan was unable to erase its deficit, falling 64-53 to MSU.
Michigan remains on the road for its next Big Ten contest Sunday at Purdue. Tipoff is scheduled for 1:30 p.m.
Contact: Tom Wywrot (734) 763-4423