Wolverines Stumble in Big Ten Tournament Final against MSU

March 20, 2014

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Site: Indianapolis, Ind. (Banker's Life Fieldhouse)
Event: Big Ten Tournament (Finals)
Score: #22 Michigan State 69, #8 Michigan 55
Records: U-M (25-8), MSU (26-8)
Next U-M Event: NCAA Tournament Second Round (TBD)

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- The University of Michigan men's basketball team (No. 8 AP, No. 9 ESPN/USA Today) struggled all game and fell to Michigan State (No. 22 AP, No. 22 ESPN/USA Today), 69-55, in the final round of the Big Ten Tournament on Sunday afternoon (March 16) inside Banker's Life Fieldhouse.

Sophomore Nik Stauskas (Mississauga, Ontario/St. Mark's School [Mass.]) led the Wolverines with 17 points on 4-of-14 shooting, and freshman Derrick Walton Jr. (Harper Woods, Mich./Chandler Park Academy) scored 11 points and grabbed four rebounds. Graduate student Jordan Morgan (Detroit, Mich./University of Detroit Jesuit) finished with eight points and six rebounds in only 20 minutes of play, and sophomore Caris LeVert (Pickerington, Ohio/Central) posted seven points and four assists in the loss.

Michigan went up 9-4 less than four minutes into the game after an old-fashioned three-point play by Walton, but State responded with a 12-0 run with seven points coming from Gary Harris. He hit a three and dunked in the fast break to give MSU a 16-9 lead, forcing U-M to call timeout at 11:51.


Two Glenn Robinson III (St. John, Ind./Lake Central) free throws cut the Wolverines' deficit to 18-14 at 9:58, but the Spartans scored seven unanswered points in 30 seconds to take a 25-14 lead. After a three-point play by Adreian Payne, Keith Appling made a shot off the glass, and Coach Beilein was called for a technical foul for arguing with the officials. Travis Trice hit both free throws to give State the eleven-point lead with 9:16 to play before halftime.

LeVert drew a foul driving to the basket, and he made both the left-handed shot and free throw to bring Michigan within seven points with 1:59 left in the half. Neither team scored after that, until Harris made a move to the basket and dunked with four seconds left to make the score 38-29 going into halftime.

The Wolverines shot just 7-of-22 (32 percent) in the first frame, including 4-of-14 (29 percent) from three. State went 15-of-31 (48 percent) from the floor, making only one of their nine three-point attempts (11 percent). Stauskas had 13 points in the half, with all three of his field goals coming from beyond the arc. Harris also scored 13, on 6-of-11 shooting. U-M went 11-of-12 (92 percent) from the line, while MSU knocked down seven of their eight first-half free throw attempts (88 percent). The Spartans outrebounded Michigan 20-11 in the first half, thanks to Morgan and junior Jon Horford (Grand Ledge, Mich./Grand Ledge) getting into foul trouble early.

State scored the first eight of the points of the second half, with Branden Dawson's layup making the score 44-29 and forcing Michigan to call timeout at 17:10. Out of the stoppage, Michigan turned the ball over, leading to a fast break dunk by Dawson and giving MSU a 17-point lead, its largest of the game up to that point.

Freshman Zak Irvin (Fishers, Ind./Hamilton Southeastern) drained a three from the top of the key to make the score 38-50 at 11:48, but Payne dunked on the other end to give the Spartans a 14-point advantage. The Wolverines scored consecutive baskets to come within 54-44 of State, but a Dawson bucket at 5:44 put his team back up by 12. Morgan dunked on the next possession to make the deficit 10 points, but MSU answered again with a driving layup by Appling with 4:48 left in the game.

Dawson was left wide open under the basket for a dunk with 2:32 left, putting the Spartans ahead 64-50 and sealing up the victory and tournament championship.

The Wolverines finished the game shooting 17-of-54 (32 percent), and made just 6 of their 23 attempts from three (26 percent). MSU shot 27-of-54 (50 percent) on field goals, going 2-of-17 (12 percent) from beyond the arc. The Spartans dominated the glass, grabbing 38 rebounds to Michigan's 28, and outscored U-M in the paint, 38-20. Payne posted team-highs of 18 points and nine rebounds, while Dawson and Harris had 15 points apiece.

Michigan will fill find out its seed and matchup for the NCAA Tournament during the NCAA Basketball Championship Selection Show, broadcast on CBS at 6:00 p.m.

Contact: Tom Wywrot (734) 763-4423

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