Michigan went 0-for-6 from three point range in the first half of a 58-57 win over Michigan State, leading (in part) to 17 transition points for the Spartans. U-M missed its share of finishes inside, too, in shooting 44.4 percent for the half, and trailed 31-28 at the break.
MSU turned open looks in transition into made triples. The Spartans made 5-of-11, including two by big man Adreian Payne, in opening a lead as big as seven before the Wolverines rallied for the last four points of the half.
The Wolverines played most of the first half without freshman shooter Nik Stauskas, who took an inadvertent elbow from MSU's Branden Dawson early and left to get stitches above his eye. Fellow frosh Caris LeVert provided some solid minutes, especially on the defensive end, and chipped in with four points in transition.
Sophomore Trey Burke was U-M's catalyst on offense, scoring 11 points and dishing four assists. Junior Tim Hardaway Jr. and freshman Glenn Robinson III added six each, Robinson's all within a few feet of the hoop.
Michigan, though, missed too many good looks to emerge with a halftime lead, even though they outshot the Spartans 44.4 percent to 37.5. The three-point shooting and the rebounding were the difference. MSU held a 23-10 advantage on the glass, grabbing 10 offensive rebounds for nine points on offensive caroms in taking control of half of its misses.
Payne led the Spartans with 12 first half points.
Michigan opened with plenty of momentum, scoring on a Burke to Morgan inbound underneath. Hardaway and LeVert both missed lay-ups, however; the Spartans couldn't take advantage, and Harris picked up his thre fourl on an MSU turnover.
The Wolverines, though, couldn't make a shot until Morgan gave them the lead, 32-31, on a reverse from Burke at 17:15. U-M still wasn't clicking offensively. LeVert missed a wide open Robinson underneath and Hardaway missed a triple. The Spartans couldn't score, either, held without a point - and with only one offensive board - in the first 5:30.
A McGary dunk on a feed from Burke gave the Wolverines a 34-31 lead at the first TV timeout.
LeVert went right at Harris when he came back in, driving and hitting a half-hook to make it 36-31. Harris responded with a contested jump shot to bring MSU back within three, 36-33 at 14:33 that ended a 12-0 Michigan run.
A McGary tip-in made it 38-33 at 12:45. McGary answered a Keith Appling runner with a reverse finish to make it 40-35 - at at point, Michigan had 34 points in the paint to MSU's 13 at 11:16.
Freshman Spike Albrecht missed an uncontested triple at 9:12 that would have been huge. Burke, though, scored on reverse to make it 44-39 at 8:02. It was 46-40 after an Appling free throw and LeVert backdoor finish at 7:20 despite U-M's 0-11 mark on triples. The Spartans had managed only nine points in the half at 7:00 mark.
A Hardaway to Robinson oop in transition made it 50-42 at 4:51. Burke then hit two free throws after being mugged by Appling to give U-M a 10-point lead at 4:32 and send the crowd into a frenzy. Burke a missed alay-up in transition, though, that would have made it a 12-point game, giving the Spartans life. Gary Harris took advantage for an and-one. He missed the free throw, but Payne notched a three-point play to make it a game.
A bad decision by Burke, followed by a triple in transition from Harris, made it 56-54 at 1:40 and set up yet another down to the wire finish between the two teams in Crisler.
Robinson rebounded LeVert's missed three at 1:16, but Burke turned it over and Appling went to the line for two shot after a Burke foul. That made it 56-56 at with 54.8 seconds remaining.
A McGary turnover gave the Spartans one last chance to win it - or so it looked. Burke, though, picked Appling's pocket and finished with a two-hand slam at 17.7 to put U-M back up 58-56. The Spartans called timeout for one last look and got the ball to Nix inside. He was fouled, but missed the first free throw with 8.8 seconds remaining.
McGary was fouled on the inbound but missed the front end of the one-and-one. MSU had one last chance with 4.9 seconds remaining, but Hardaway defended Harris well, forcing a Burke steal as time expired.
Burke led the way with 21 points, eight assists and five steals for the Wolverines.