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Michigan State men’s basketball falls in disappointing fashion to rival Michigan, 87-70

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The Spartans will look to rebound against Ohio State on Thursday.

Michigan State v Michigan Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images

The Michigan State Spartans men’s basketball team fell Tuesday night to the Michigan Wolverines in Ann Arbor by a final score of 87-70.

The game was off to a fast start. In the first three minutes, both teams accumulated a grand total of 17 points. By the first media timeout, Michigan had taken a 14-11 lead.

In addition to a hot start by both teams, center Marcus Bingham Jr. broke MSU’s all-time blocks record with 154.

That hot start did not seem to last very long, at least for Michigan State. Michigan was out on a 14-0 run before MSU finally called a timeout. The Spartans were able to stop the bleeding when Tyson Walker took a mid-range jumper.

After Michigan took a 23-11 lead, it was pretty much over. At halftime, the Wolverines had marched to a 16-point lead over the Spartans, 44-28. Michigan State was demolished in the first stanza, as UM sophomore Hunter Dickinson led in points with 12, followed by sophomore Terrance Williams II with nine points and freshman Moussa Diabate with six points.

Michigan State’s points-leaders didn’t even manage to pass any of Michigan’s top-three scorers. Junior Malik Hall had five points in the first half, while Walker, Julius Marble II and Max Christie all had four.

In the second half, MSU tried to correct itself, as Gabe Brown had a really nice 20 minutes. Creating offense wasn’t enough to outlast the Spartans’ lack of defense, though. The Wolverines kept going to Dickinson, who is 7-foot-1, in the post. He led UM to victory. It didn’t matter if MSU tried blocking him, Dickinson showed no resistance.

MSU head coach Tom Izzo was obviously upset at Dickinson, who continued to stare down the Spartans’ bench after making big plays, despite being up by a large margin. That may have infused some energy into Michigan State.

With seven minutes to play, MSU had brought down Michigan’s lead from 24 to just 13. Unfortunately, that didn’t last long, though.

By the end of the game, Dickinson had scored a career-high 33 points. It was all him and Michigan’s near-60 percent three-point shot percentage that led the team to victory. On Michigan State’s end, Brown and Walker were the Spartans’ sole double-digit point-scorers, with 12 points and 11 points, respectively.

Michigan State regresses to 19-10 (10-8 in the Big Ten) while Michigan improves to 16-12 (10-8 in the Big Ten). The Spartans will wrap up the season against two Big Ten teams this week, as MSU heads to Columbus to play Ohio State on Thursday (March 3). On Sunday (March 6), MSU will host Maryland to wrap up the regular season before the Big Ten tournament.