Tim Hardaway Jr.
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Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Crisler Arena)
Score: Michigan 70, Michigan State 63
Records: U-M (19-12, 9-9 Big Ten), Michigan State (17-13, 9-9 Big Ten)
Attendance: 13,751 (sellout)
Next U-M Event: Friday, March 11 -- vs. Opponent TBD - Big Ten Tournament (Indianapolis, Ind.), Time TBD
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Freshman Tim Hardaway Jr. (Miami, Fla./Palmetto Senior) exploded for a team-high 20 points, all in the second half, lifting the University of Michigan men's basketball team to a 70-63 victory over Michigan State and the season sweep on Saturday (March 5) inside Crisler Arena. The series sweep is U-M's first over MSU since the 1996-97 season.
Freshman forward Evan Smotrycz (Reading, Mass./New Hampton Prep [N.H.]) went for 14 points and sophomore guard Darius Morris (Los Angeles, Calif./Windward) scored 13, while redshirt freshman forward Jordan Morgan (Detroit, Mich./University of Detroit Jesuit) tallied 10 points and a team-high six rebounds. Morris also added five boards and six assists.
The teams traded bucket for bucket to start the second half all the way to a 48-38 score, as Hardaway, who did not score in the first 20 minutes, accounted for 10 of U-M's 15 points. The Spartans took control for a stretch, outscoring U-M, 16-8, over the next 7:56, cutting a once 13-point lead -- at 13:41 -- to 56-54. However, a Morgan dunk, off a feed from Hardaway, brought Crisler to a madhouse and Hardaway put an exclamation with a jumper, moving it to 60-54 in favor of the Maize and Blue.
After an MSU bucket, a layup from Morgan and a free throw from Morris helped the lead swell to 63-56. A triple from MSU senior Kalin Lucas, who scored 23 of his game-high 25 in the second half, cut it down 63-59, but four free throws from Hardaway, one from junior guard Zack Novak (Chesterton, Ind./Chesterton), who also recorded a three-pointer rejection, and a sweet finger roll from Morris capped the victory.
The Wolverines jumped on MSU early, opening the contest with an 8-1 run, with six of those points coming from Morgan. U-M extended the run to 10-1 after the first media timeout on a layup from Morris, before the Spartans finally netted their first field goal of the contest 6:18 in. Five straight points from Smotrycz, including an old-fashioned three-point play, stretched the advantage to 15-5 into the second media timeout.
The Spartans then cut the U-M lead down to 22-19, before a three-pointer from Novak kicked off a stretch of 11 straight points for the Wolverines. During the run, Lucas was called for an intentional elbow on Hardaway, who was shaken up on the play, and Novak converted, making both free throws. A pair of Michigan State triples to end the half sent the Wolverines into the break up, 33-25.
Smotrycz led U-M with nine first-half points, while the Wolverine defense held Lucas to just two.
The Wolverines now await the seeding from the Big Ten Tournament, held Thursday through Sunday (March 10-13) at the Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Ind.
Contact: Tom Wywrot (734) 763-4423