ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Michigan came back with a vengeance. And it did so against one of its traditional and — dare we say it — bitter rivals.
In an 86-57 win Tuesday against Michigan State, the Wolverines (15-9, 5-6 Big Ten) had four players score in double figures while avoiding their first three-game losing streak of the season. All this just nine days after a 70-62 loss to the Spartans in East Lansing, Mich., and three days after a 70-66 loss to Ohio State in another traditional rivalry game.
Derrick Walton Jr., reached the 1,000-point/400-assist/400-rebound milestone and led the Wolverines with 20 points, and Moritz Wagner added 19 points and 6 rebounds. Michigan earned its largest margin of victory against the Spartans in its last 15 games against Michigan State.
Michigan dominated from the start, taking a 9-2 lead on the Spartans (14-10, 6-5). But from there, it appeared the Spartans found their footing and began to establish an inside presence to make it 9-8, with all 8 points coming in the paint. Yet when it seemed as if the Spartans would make it competitive, Michigan State’s mistakes began to accrue.
As a result Michigan capitalized, scoring 22 first-half points off turnovers and forcing the Spartans to commit 4 shot-clock violations in the first half.
Michigan went on a 12-0 run to stretch its lead to 35-19 with 6:26 left in the half, then stormed over the Spartans to close out the session, going 9 for 11 from the floor to take a 55-29 lead at halftime.
Michigan maintained at least a 22-point lead and led by as many as 30 at one point in the second half.
What it means
With its first win since a 90-60 rout of Indiana on Jan. 26, Michigan splits the season series with Michigan State and gains much-needed momentum at the start of the final four weeks of the regular season.
Walton was the star, scoring 20 points and reaching a career milestone, while Wagner added the 19 points and Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman scored 16.
Duncan Robinson came off the bench to score 10 points, including a buzzer-beating 3-pointer just before halftime.
Zak Irvin is still trying to find his rhythm following a bout with the flu nearly two weeks ago. The senior guard/forward finished with 3 points on 1-of-5 shooting, giving him just 8 total points in his last three games. Irvin is due for a breakout from his three-game slump.
Who is next
Michigan plays at Indiana at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday.