Michigan was in this one for ten minutes.
Paced by two three-pointers by Daniel Horton, Michigan jumped out to a 13-5 lead at the 14:30 mark of the first half. But, ominously, U-M big man Chris Hunter went out of the game early, and for good, with a knee injury. And from the ten minute mark on out, it was all MSU.
The Spartans took the lead for good at the 9:56 mark, 18-17 and steadily increased it to 32-23 at the 5:44 mark, and to 39-28, an 11 point lead, at the half.
Michigan hung in there for the opening seven minutes of the second half. The Wolverines trailed 51-41, at the 14:57 mark, but after two quick Spartan three-pointers, one minute later MSU was up by 16, 57-41. Michigan fought back with four free throws by Daniel Horton to bring it back to 12, 59-47 at the 13 minute mark.
But from there MSU steadily increased it's lead: to 14, 67-53 at the 9:37 mark; then to 19, 74-55 at the 7:30 mark; and to 23, 82-59 at the 5:36 mark.
MSU coasted in from there to win it 90-71.
Both teams shot well, Michigan 52% (although only 23% at three-pointers), and MSU 55% and a deadly 59% from three-point land.
With Chris Hunter on the bench for U-M, the Spartans also dominated the boards, outrebounding the Wolverines 35-25.
Daniel Horton led the Michigan effort with 19 points, with Graham Brown and Courtmey Sims adding 15 points each.
With just three Big Ten games remaining, Michigan falls to 6th place in the conference at 7-6 (17-7 overall). If the Wolverines are to finish over .500 in the league, they have to win two of their last three regular season games, which are: home vs. #13 Illinois (7-4, 21-4) this coming Tuesday, then at #12 OSU (8-4, 19-4) next Saturday (which is also an OSU football Junior Day by the way), and finally at home vs. Indiana (5-6, 13-9) on March 3rd.
Spartans Cruise Past the Wolverines, 90-71
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