Spartans Down Wolverines 77-62

Michigan built a five-point lead in the first half of the contest, but the No. 10 Spartans had too much fire power for the Wolverines, who stumbled down the stretch. Freshmen Manny Harris and Anthony Wright were the leading scorers for Michigan with 11 points a piece. Jevohn Shepherd added nine for the Maize and Blue.

EAST LANSING, Mich. -- The No. 10-ranked Michigan State Spartans were too much fire power for a struggling Michigan basketball team as the Wolverines fell to 5-15 on the season, 1-7 in the Big 10, with a 77-62 loss to the Spartans on Sunday afternoon at the Breslin Center in East Lansing, Mich.

The Wolverines built a 19-14 lead in the opening parts of the first half, but Michigan State answered with a 12-0 run to give the Spartans a 26-19 edge on the scoreboard. Michigan never overcame that deficit.

"The numbers, the defensive numbers, are the ones of biggest concern to us now. People are shooting a very high percentage against us, and we're not getting fast break points, not getting things you get from defensive spouts," said Michigan coach John Beilein.

"That leads into we're getting the ball on the zero yard line too often to get transition points. You look at most of our 62 points today; they're all on half court offense. We need to get some easy points as well; as well as steals, and turnovers you can run from. We're just having trouble physically, speed-wise, and communicating defensively."

Falling behind 8-0, the Maize and Blue didn't drain their first basket until over five minutes into the rivalry game. Ekpe Udoh scored the first two points of the game for the Wolverines, who battled back from an 11-2 deficit to take the lead on three-ball's from Ron Coleman, Kelvin Grady and a pair from Anthony Wright.

Drew Neitzel answered for the Spartans, however, and thanks to 15 first half points from the MSU point guard, Michigan State retook the lead and built it to eight points at 35-27 through 20 minutes.

"The way they ran their offense, the speed and the intensity they run their plays at is something that's very hard to duplicate, and whether your in scouting sessions, or in practices, its very very good and it's tough for us to guard, certainly tonight," Beilein continued after the loss.

Michigan State added a 9-1 run to extend the lead 17 points in the opening minutes of the second half. Not until Jevohn Shepherd added Michigan's first field goal of the half with 16:50 left did the bleeding stop.

Michigan would get within 10 points just one more time over the remainder of the contest, the lead being trimmed to 49-39 on a Zack Gibson dunk with just less than 13 minutes left on the clock.

Seven Wolverines contributed points in the second half, but the Spartans saw points from nine players as Michigan State cruised to the 77-62 win.

Michigan next returns to the floor for a Thursday night tilt against the Minnesota Golden Gophers at Crisler Arena in Ann Arbor. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. Big 10 Network will provide television coverage as the Wolverines take aim at their second Big 10 win of the season.

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