7:00 PM ET, January 25, 2014
Jack Breslin Student Events Center, East Lansing, Michigan
Michigan holds off short-handed Michigan St. to stay perfect in Big Ten
EAST LANSING, Mich. -- With some swagger and a sweet stroke, Nik Stauskas lifted Michigan to a rare win at Michigan State.
Stauskas made a tiebreaking 3-pointer with 3:12 left and finished with 19 points to lead the 21st-ranked Wolverines to an 80-75 win over the third-ranked Spartans on Saturday night to remain the only Big Ten team without a conference loss.
The sophomore shooting guard had four assists and unofficially had another one, separating coach John Beilein from a face-to-face argument with an official with 4:01 remaining.
"He was about to get a technical," Stauskas said.
Stauskas helped the usually mild-mannered Beilein from saying or doing something that might cost his team points just before the Wolverines (15-4, 7-0 Big Ten) went on a 10-0 run late in the game to take control.
"That's a great step in his leadership," Beilein said with a grin.
The Wolverines won for just the second time in 15 games at the Breslin Center.
Michigan is the first team since at least the 1996-97 season to win three straight games against top-10 teams in the regular season, according to STATS. The Wolverines, who had never pulled off that feat in school history, were coming off a win against No. 10 Iowa at home after beating then-No. 3 Wisconsin on the road.
"This is a great win for us because of who we were just able to beat," Beilein said. "It's one of the classiest, best programs in the country."
The Spartans (18-2, 7-1) had won 11 straight since losing to North Carolina at home, but the streak was snapped by their rival soon after another injury-related setback.
"The better team won," coach Tom Izzo acknowledged.
Michigan, though, didn't have any sympathy.
The Wolverines, who lost Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. early to the NBA, have been playing without McGary because he needed back surgery since losing to No. 1 Arizona in a closely contested game.
Michigan State's Gary Harris scored a career-high 27 points and didn't get much help offensively from his team that was without two of its best players. Freshman Alvin Ellis scored a season-high 12 points, surpassing his scoring total from his first seven Big Ten games.
Keith Appling was held to 10 points on 3 of 11 shooting, playing with a wrist injury and bad back.
"He just can't shoot right now with that wrist," Izzo said.
Michigan turned 11 offensive rebounds into 15 second-chance points as it outrebounded the Spartans 34-30.
The Wolverines have won five of seven in the series after losing 18 of 21, and Appling took the latest loss hard because he will not play them again at home.
"I feel like I lost a close family member," he said softly. "That's how bad it hurts."
Michigan got off to a great start with Stauskas making jumpers, pumping his fist and shouting as he ran back to play defense.
The Wolverines started 4 of 4 from the field and led 10-2 before losing the lead midway through the first half as Michigan State's defensive intensity picked up and its crowd began to roar.
Michigan made shots when it needed them most in the second half, scoring 50 points after halftime, including 5 of 8 on 3-pointers and 23 of 27 at the line.
"You're not going to beat too many teams when they shoot that way," Harris said.
Team Stat Comparison
|FG Made-Attempted||22-49 (.449)||26-56 (.464)|
|3P Made-Attempted||11-19 (.579)||7-17 (.412)|
|FT Made-Attempted||25-30 (.833)||16-23 (.696)|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||16 (0/0)||22 (0/0)|
Next 5 Games
Big Ten Conference Standings
Prior to last Saturday, Michigan hadn't won a road game at a top-5 opponent since 1964, when it won at 5th-ranked Duke. The Wolverines had lost 36 straight road games at top-5 opponents since then. But in the last week, they have defeated a pair of top-5 teams -- number-3 Wisconsin last Saturday and 3rd-ranked Michigan State earlier tonight.[+]
Michigan Road Wins at Top-5 Opponents - Last 50 Seasons
Saturday was Michigan's 1st win against a top-5 Spartan squad since January of 1979, when Magic Johnson was still in East Lansing. And it's the Wolverines' 1st ROAD win against a top-5 Spartan team in school history.[+]
Michigan Past 2 Wins vs Michigan State - With Spartans Ranked in Top 5
(21) Michigan def. (3) Michigan St, 80-75 What Win Means for Wolverines: * 1st-ever road win vs top-5 Michigan State team * 1st win vs top-5 Michigan State team since Jan. 25, 1979 * Largest win vs top-5 Michigan State team since Jan. 21, 1967 * Had lost 4 straight games against top-5 Michigan State team * 3-2 in past 5 games vs top-10 Michigan State team (lost previous 9 such meetings, dating to 1979)
Despite losing two players to the first round of the NBA Draft, Michigan has a top-10 offense for the second straight season.[+]
Michigan Division-I Ranks
The loss comes of Branden Dawson for the next 4-to-5 weeks comes at a bad time for Michigan State. The Spartans were already without Adreian Payne, who is expected to miss at least the next 2 weeks with a sprained right foot. Payne is averaging 16.2 PPG and 7.7 RPG while Dawson is averaging 10.2 PPG and 8.7 PPG. Michigan State is also entering a tough stretch in its schedule. 3 of the Spartans' next 5 games are against ranked opponents - Saturday vs 21 Michigan, Tuesday at 10 Iowa (both games on ESPN) and Feb. 9 at 9 Wisconsin. Adreian Payne and Branden Dawson Michigan State Ranks This Season Payne Dawson PPG 2nd 4th RPG 2nd 1st Mins PG 3rd 4th Blocks PG 2nd 3rd >Both out with injuries
Nik Stauskas is averaging more than seven points per game this season than he did a year ago. Stauskas' point distribution has been more balanced this season, with a higher percentage of his points coming on two-point field goals and free throws.[+]
Nik Stauskas Point Distribution - Last 2 Seasons
Fixes typo on Michigan 2-pt FG)... 6 of Michigan's 11 FG made in 1st half against were 3-pt FG (6-11 on 3-pt FG, 5-16 on 2-pt FG).
Keith Appling has scored or assisted on 57% of Michigan State's points in transition. The Spartans are fourth in the nation with 423 transition points.
Since conference play began in 1905, Saturday's Michigan-Michigan State game (7 ET on ESPN) will be the first time there is a Big Ten game in which both teams entered with a conference record of 6-0 or better (Michigan is 6-0, Michigan State is 7-0).
ESPN Stats & Information