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Knee-Jerk Reactions: MSU 76 Michigan 66

The Spartans put it together in overtime to defeat the Wolverines

Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Firth things first as is tradition in big games that result in a victory let's get to the Dance of Joy.

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Now that dance should feel a little hollow with how much Michigan State struggled today but a win over Michigan is a win over Michigan. Yes the Wolverines were a team full of glorified walk-ons today and Michigan State almost lost but disaster was averted mainly due to the play of three individuals. For the second straight game Branden Dawson ended with a double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Denzel Valentine led the team in scoring with 25 points and seven assists. Valentine had his usual rough patches with turnovers when he tried to do too much but he and Dawson were the sole reason the Spartans were up 29-24 at the half.

In the second half both teams improved their shooting and Michigan was led by the hot outside shooting of Spike Albrecht and Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman. Michigan State would own the glass 43-29 for the game including a 13-7 edge in offensive rebounds. MSU also had 19 assists to 12 turnovers while Michigan committed 11 turnovers to just 8 assists. The Spartans had yet another bad last 1:30 squandering a 66-61 lead that was made possible by a Bryn Forbes three. Albrecht answered with a clutch three for Michigan and after Valentine (86% free throw shooter) missed the front end of a one-and-one UM responded with a tip-in to tie the game. A missed Travis Trice prayer three later (after dribbling out 17 seconds and apparently missing Izzo calling for a timeout) and the game was heading to overtime.

In overtime Matt Costello was a beast and spurned the Spartans to a 10-0 overtime period. Costello had 4 points, 3 rebounds and 1 block to lead the way for the Spartans. Costello had gotten into foul trouble in the first half but unlike Gavin Schilling managed to calm down and not foul out. In the overtime period the Spartans' finally showed their talent and experience gap that should have been visible all game.

Either Dan or Joe will be along later with a more in-depth post on the four factors and going deeper into this victory. For now enjoy a 2-0 weekend over Michigan and the Spartans sit tied for 2nd with four other teams at 6-3 in the league standings. The Spartans will next play Illinois on Saturday in East Lansing. Enjoy the win guys and Go Green!