ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The University of Michigan men's basketball team was unable to snap a seven-game losing streak Saturday afternoon (Feb. 12), falling 64-49 to Michigan State (No. 13 AP, No. 12 ESPN/USA Today) in front a sellout crowd of 13,751 at Crisler Arena. The Wolverines (12-13, 3-8 Big Ten) trimmed an 18-point second-half deficit down to just eight with less than five minutes left in the game, but the Spartans (17-4, 8-2 Big Ten) ended the game with a 10-2 scoring run to send U-M below the .500 mark for the first time this season.
Sophomore Dion Harris (Detroit, Mich./Redford HS) turned in another strong performance, recording a game-high 22 points, including 4-of-6 shooting from behind the arc. Sophomore Brent Petway (McDonough, Ga./Griffin HS) collected seven points to go with a team-best five rebounds, while freshman Ron Coleman (Romulus, Mich./Romulus HS) contributed seven points. Alan Anderson lead a quartet of MSU double-digit scorers with 16 points.
Two straight U-M turnovers to begin the game helped the Spartans gain a 6-0 lead just 1:42 into half. Coleman's pair of free throws at 17:46 put Michigan on the scoreboard, but MSU continued to find the bottom of the net and kept a 12-5 advantage heading into the first timeout at 16:25.
The Wolverines had trouble finding their touch on the offensive end, converting just two field goals in the first eight minutes of action, and Michigan State extended its lead to 19-8 with 11:55 left until halftime.
Sophomore Courtney Sims (Roslindale, Mass./Noble & Greenough School) gave Michigan two points on a wide-open dunk after the media timeout, and Harris followed with his second triple of the game to trim the Spartan lead down to 19-13. The teams exchanged points over the next six minutes of play, as MSU sustained a 24-17 advantage with 4:16 remaining until the break.
Michigan State continued its execution down low during the closing minutes of the first half, scoring three baskets inside the paint. Harris' third three-pointer at 1:51 gave U-M its first field goal in nearly five minutes, and the Spartans went into the locker room with a 30-20 lead.
Harris finished the first half with 12 of Michigan's 20 points, including three triples. Michigan State's Shannon Brown connected on five of his first six shots en route to a team-high 10 points after the first 20 minutes of play. The Wolverines shot 6-of-17 (35 percent) in the first half, compared to MSU's 12-of-14 (50 percent).
Junior Chris Hunter (Gary, Ind./West Side HS) cut the lead down to eight points with a quick hoop on the opening possession of the second half, but the Spartans nailed their first six shots, including two triples by Chris Hill, to extend the cushion to 46-30 with 13:55 to go in the game.
Harris went on to score seven of Michigan's next 12 points, including another three-pointer, as the Wolverines trimmed the lead down to 54-42 with 4:45 to play. Junior Graham Brown (Mio, Mich./Mio-AuSable HS) then scored four unanswered points to move the Spartans' advantage into single digits, 54-46, with 2:55 remaining on the clock.
Michigan State put the game out of reach with a 10-2 run in the final 2:41. Anderson accounted for six of the Spartan's final 10 points, while a Coleman triple with three seconds left was just the second U-M field goal in the last four minutes of the contest.
The Wolverines will look to end their eight-game losing skid when they travel to Madison, Wis., to take on Wisconsin this Wednesday (Feb. 16). Game time is set for 8 p.m. CST, and the contest will be televised by ESPN-Plus Local.
Contact: Tom Wywrot (734) 763-4423