No. 11 Michigan State took down No. 7 Michigan for the second time in two weeks in Saturday’s 75-63 home win to claim a share of the Big Ten regular-season title with Purdue.
Still playing with a depleted lineup as starter Nick Ward sits out with a hand injury, the Spartans overcame a slow start that saw them trail by double-digits for a majority of the first half. They took control of the tempo in the second half and didn’t look back.
All-Big Ten guard Cassius Winston led all scorers with 23 points, while Xavier Tillman added 17 points in the win and Kenny Goins finished with 16 rebounds to help the Spartans out-rebound Michigan 46-21.
“It meant the world after all we’ve been through to come out on top,” Winston said.
Ignas Brazdeikis paced Michigan with 20 points, while Jordan Poole added 15 points in the loss.
“We’ll take the lessons we learned from this game, apply them to the Big Ten tournament so that we can win that again,” Michigan coach John Beilein said. “If we can’t, we’ll apply it to the NCAA tournament.”
Michigan State’s win keeps its hopes alive for an NCAA tournament No. 1 seed. Currently the third No. 2 seed behind Kentucky and Tennessee in the latest bracketology projection, the Spartans could use a deep run in the Big Ten tournament to secure a coveted top seed if other No. 1 contenders falter.
Contributing: Associated Press