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Michigan State basketball’s strong second half leads Spartans to blowout win over Michigan Wolverines, 83 to 67

Michigan v Michigan State Photo by Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images

The No. 10 Michigan State Spartans men’s basketball team hosted the bitter archrival Michigan Wolverines in East Lansing for a Saturday matinee showdown and sent the hated nemesis packing back down I-96 in a dominant 83-67 victory, powered by a second half beatdown. MSU ended the game with the same number of turnovers (13) as the Wolverines, but managed 13 points off of the Wolverines’ errors and a whopping 28 points off the fast break.

The Spartans even ended the game by making six of its last seven shots from the field despite unloading the bench in the final moments, including football players turned hoops team members Keon Coleman and Maliq Carr.

The first half was a back-and-forth affair for both teams. The game was tied three times and Michigan State seized the lead four times, including at halftime. Michigan had the largest lead of the first half, however, up six points at the 14:29 mark before Max Christie hit a three-pointer just 10 seconds later to trim the Wolverines’ lead back to 14-11.

The Spartans still spent much of the half playing catchup from there. Malik Hall finally seized the lead for MSU at 23-22 at the 7:10 mark with a layup. The action was still back-and-forth until the 4:05 mark when Hall again took the lead back for Michigan State, this time for good, on a three-pointer to make it 31-30. The Spartans never looked back, heading into the locker room shortly thereafter up 39-35.

Michigan State came out of the locker room with the same momentum the team had going in, quickly pushing the lead out to double-digits. The Wolverines endured a 5:02 scoring drought that dated back to the 1:32 mark of the first half during that stretch, finally snapping the drought on a jumper by Moussa Diabate at the 16:30 mark.

Michigan attempted to bring pressure in the second half to help dig itself out of the hole the team was in, but the Spartans sliced through the full-court press multiple times for dunks and alley-oops.

It was truly a second half that Michigan State fans will look back on with fond memories for years to come. An absolutely dominant display of basketball left no doubt which program was the better team on the court on Saturday afternoon. Michigan State ended the game with four players in double figures, led by freshman Max Christie, who went 3-for-4 from three-point range and scored 16 points. MSU’s bench came in strong in this one as well, adding 33 points, while Michigan’s bench only scored six points. Overall, Michigan State shot a blistering 50 percent from deep, going 9-for-18 from behind the arc.

Hall ended the game with 15 points, making two of his three shots from three-point range, and finishing the game by going 5-for-12 from the field overall. Joey Hauser added 14 points and A.J. Hoggard added 11 points. While Marcus Bingham Jr. finished the game with just four points, he added eight rebounds and vaulted into third place in career blocks in Michigan State men’s basketball program history. Bingham (140 blocks entering the game) trailed Adreian Payne (141), Branden Dawson (142), and Nick Ward (143) entering today’s matchup. He leaves in sole possession of third place after his four blocks pushed him to 144 total. Bingham is now just nine blocks away from tying Xavier Tillman for the first spot in program history (153).

The win moves Michigan State to 16-4 on the season and 7-2 in the Big Ten. Michigan moves to 10-8 overall and 4-4 in Big Ten action. The Spartans next begin a two-game road-stand, taking on the Maryland Terrapins next week on Tuesday, Feb. 1 at 7 p.m. EST. The game in College Park, Maryland will be broadcast on ESPN2.