EAST LANSING, Mich. -- A Spike Albrecht three-pointer and a tip-in in the closing seconds by Max Bielfeldt was enough for Michigan to force overtime at Michigan State Sunday, the Wolverines held scoreless over the next five minutes as the Spartans claimed a 76-66 victory.
Starting in Walton Jr.’s place was freshman Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman, scoring a career-high 18-points on 8-of-14 shooting from the field. Albrecht also stepping up in Walton Jr.’s absence, adding 18-points as well including a key three-pointer to cut the Michigan State lead to 66-64 with just over a minute to play.
In overtime, it was all Michigan State led by Denzel Valentine, tallying 25-points on the afternoon, knocking down 4-of-9 attempts from three-point land. Branden Dawson proved to be a major mismatch for Michigan, Dawson recording a double double with 19-points and 10 rebounds.
Needing to withstand an early punch from Michigan State, freshman Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman took the floor confidently getting the start in place of Derrick Walton Jr. Rahkman scored four of the Wolverines first eight points, scored tied at the first media timeout.
Following the timeout, Michigan put together the first big run of the game outscoring Michigan State 9-1 over the next six minutes to lead 17-9 with 9:20 to play in the first half.
The Spartans found life after the timeout though, Valentine leading the charge with five-points and two assists as Michigan State stormed back to reclaim a 23-21 lead with just over two minutes to go before the break.
But Michigan State and Valentine weren’t done, back-to-back threes for the Lansing native pushed the Spartans lead to 29-22, forcing a timeout for Beilein and the Wolverines who faced a 29-24 halftime deficit.
On the bench with a foul for most of the first half, Abdur-Rahkman started the second half strong for Michigan scoring 11-points over the first seven minutes to give the Wolverines a 45-40 advantage.
Michigan continued to mix up zone defenses, Valentine taking it upon himself to go to the rim scoring two straight lay-ups to put the Spartans back up 46-45.
Ricky Doyle’s three-point play put Michigan in the lead once again at 48-46. The Spartans and Wolverines would exchange threes, one a piece from Trice and Albrecht to knot the score at 51 with 7:53 left in regulation.
Michigan surged to a 61-57 lead with just over five minutes remaining before Michigan State put together a 9-0 run to claim a 66-61 lead with 1:24 to play.
The Wolverines continued to fight, Albrecht knocked down a three-pointer to cut the Spartans’ lead to two before Bielfeldt tipped in an Albrecht miss to tie the game with 20 seconds to play, forcing overtime.