Wolverines Steamroll Spartans Behind Strong Defense

Feb. 8, 2017

What You Need to Know
» Michigan snapped a five-game losing streak against Michigan State, defeating the Spartans for the first time since Feb. 23, 2014.
» With his 20 points, eight assists and five rebounds tonight, Derrick Walton Jr. joined Gary Grant and Jalen Rose in the U-M 1,000-point, 400-rebound and 400-assist club.
» Walton led four Wolverines who scored in double figures, joining Moritz Wagner (19), Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman (16), and Duncan Robinson (10).
» Michigan shot 60 percent (32-for-53) from the field and forced 21 Spartan turnovers, outscoring MSU 30-7 in points off turnovers.

Box Score |  Photo Gallery 
Postgame Report video icon
Beilein Postgame Press Conference video icon

Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Crisler Center)
Score: Michigan 86, Michigan State 57
Records: U-M (15-9, 5-6 B1G), MSU (14-10, 6-5 B1G)
Next U-M Event: Sunday, Feb. 12 -- at Indiana (Bloomington, Ind.), 1 p.m. [ TV: CBS ]

• Kornacki Postgame Feature: Walton Savors Respect, Victory in Leading Wolverines

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- In the second meeting between the Wolverines and the Spartans in a 10-day span, the University of Michigan men's basketball team earned a decisive 29-point victory over Michigan State, 86-57, on Tuesday (Feb. 7) inside Crisler Center.

The win snapped a five-game losing streak against MSU, giving U-M its first win over the Spartans since Feb. 23, 2014 at Crisler. It is also the largest point differential in the series since 1996, when Michigan also won by 29, 75-46.

Derrick Walton Jr. poured in a game-high 20 points, recording his fourth straight 20-point game and eighth of the season, and he added eight assists and five rebounds. With his stellar performance, Walton joined Gary Grant and Jalen Rose in the U-M 1,000-point, 400-rebound and 400-assist club. He now has 1,224 points, 493 rebounds and 400 assists and is seven rebounds shy of becoming the first Wolverine ever to hit 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 400 assists.

Walton led four players in double figures, including Moritz Wagner with 19 points, Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman with 16 and Duncan Robinson with 10. Overall, nine Wolverines contributed to the scoring column, with Xavier Simpson matching his career high with seven points. The Wolverines shot 60 percent (32-for-53) from the field, hitting 60 percent for the third time this season and second time in Big Ten play (Indiana, 63 percent).

Men's Basketball vs. MSU

Michigan's defense helped generate its offense in the first half, as the Wolverines forced the Spartans into 12 first-half turnovers, including four shot-clock violations. U-M outscored MSU 22-4 in points off turnovers, as Michigan committed just four turnovers in the opening half.

Michigan shot 75 percent (21-for-28) from the field in the first half, including 73 percent (8-for-11) from three-point range. The Wolverines came out firing and took an early 6-0 lead. U-M's next 12 points came from long range, including consecutive triples from Abdur-Rahkman, and the Maize and Blue led 18-13 at the 12:25 mark.

With Michigan up 23-19 with nine minutes to go in the half, the Wolverines went on a 12-0 run, highlighted by two three-pointers from Walton and one from Simpson, and U-M led 35-19 at the 6:26 mark. The two teams traded baskets and then U-M closed the half on a 14-2 run in the last four minutes to take a 26-point lead, 55-29, into the locker room at halftime.

Michigan continued its success early in the second half, scoring four quick points to take its largest lead of the night, 59-29, and force the Spartans to take a timeout at 18:57. Michigan State regrouped and strung together an 11-3 run to cut its deficit to 21, 64-43, with 13:07 remaining, but that was as close as the Spartans came.

Walton scored eight of his 20 points in the final 10 minutes of the second half to help Michigan maintain a 20-plus point edge and eventually secure the 29-point victory.

Michigan remains the nation's leader in fewest turnovers per game, committing just eight. The Wolverines forced the Spartans into 21 turnovers and outscoring them 30-7 in points off turnovers. The last time U-M forced 20 or more turnovers was on Nov. 14, 2011 against Towson.

Tweet of the Game

The Wolverines will travel to Bloomington, Indiana, to face the Indiana Hoosiers on Sunday (Feb. 12) at 1 p.m. inside Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. The game will be nationally televised on CBS.

Audio Highlights

Communications Contact: Tom Wywrot

»  Learn about Michigan men's basketball season tickets for the 2017-18 season.