EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Cold shooting and a big rebounding disadvantage for the University of Michigan men's basketball team led to a 71-44 loss at Michigan State on Wednesday (Jan. 30) at MSU's Breslin Center. In the only regular-season meeting between the rivals, the Spartans (12-8, 3-4 Big Ten) shot 52.1 percent (25-48) from the field, held U-M to 29.6 percent (16-54) shooting and season-low 44 points, and controlled the glass with a 41-25 rebounding edge.
Michigan (8-10, 3-5 Big Ten) was led by LaVell Blanchard (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer HS) and Chris Young (Plymouth, Mich./Catholic Central HS), who had 16 and 13 points, respectively, and accounted for 66 percent of the Wolverines' offensive output. The Spartans made the Wolverine defense work, moving the ball to several different weapons as Aloysius Anagonye (10), Adam Ballinger (14), Marcus Taylor (10) and Alan Anderson (12) all scored 10 points or more.
The Wolverines jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead on a Leon Jones (Battle Creek, Mich./Winchendon Prep, Mass.) tipin followed by a Blanchard three, and U-M held Michigan State's offense silent until 16:39. A Young layup at 16:15, his first points of a team-leading six at half, kept the Maize and Blue rolling, 7-4.
Despite holding a 9-7 advantage after nearly six minutes of play, Michigan's zone defense was unable to stop 11-0 and 10-2 Spartan runs in the first half as Michigan fell behind 37-19 going into the locker room. The Spartans took their first lead of the night via a three-pointer off the hand of Chris Hill at 14:23 and did not look back. Anagonye led the Spartans with 10 points at the half and Taylor created an 18-point Michigan deficit with a three as time expired in the half.
After struggling to create offense in the first frame, Michigan went to its strengths to start the second half. Young scored the Maize and Blue's first six points and Blanchard hit for eight more, but the Spartans kept a commanding hold on their lead, matching Michigan with shots from the outside. Hill and Taylor combined to shoot 3-of-3 from behind the arc as MSU kept a 56-39 advantage at the 10-minute mark.
Michigan could not capitalize on the Spartans' foul trouble in the middle of the half, shooting only 6-of-11 from the line in the second half, and Michigan State kept building on its lead. A three-pointer by Mat Ishbia with less than 15 seconds left in the half punctuated the Spartans' eight straight win in the series, giving them a game-high 27-point lead, 71-44, as the final buzzer sounded.
The Wolverines begin a three-game homestand Saturday (Feb. 2), hosting Wisconsin for an 8 p.m. contest at Crisler Arena. The 17th Michigan Hall of Honor inductees will be recognized at halftime.
Contact: Tom Wywrot (734) 763-4423