Spartans Knocked Off By Wolverines, 72-67
Ager leads MSU with 18 points.
Jan. 25, 2006
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - Daniel Horton scored 23 points and Michigan held on to defeat No. 11 Michigan State 72-67 on Wednesday night, beating its rival for the second time in 14 meetings.
The Wolverines (14-3, 4-2 Big Ten) led by seven points with 2:37 left. The Spartans (15-5, 3-3) pulled within two, but Michigan State's Paul Davis had a shot blocked and missed a 3-pointer in the final minute.
Maurice Ager, who led the Spartans with 18 points, missed a 3-pointer with 2 seconds left and Dion Harris sealed the victory with two free throws.
Michigan State led by as many as 13 points in the first half, and nine in the second.
The Wolverines took their first lead since the opening minute with nine straight points midway through the second half.
With pressure defense, balanced scoring and a raucous crowd, Michigan kept the lead and went ahead 64-56 on Horton's third 3-pointer with 5:54 left.
The Wolverines won their first game against a ranked opponent despite missing standout Lester Abram, who missed the game with a sprained ankle.
Ron Coleman, Abram's replacement, scored nine points - one off his season high. Reserve Chris Hunter had 13 points and Graham Brown added 10 - each doubling previous averages - to make up Courtney Sims being held to four points.
Michigan State's Drew Neitzel scored 15 points and Shannon Brown had 13. Davis was held to 10 points, though he joined Greg Kelser as the only two players in school history with 1,500 points and 800 rebounds.
The Wolverines have won three straight, while the Spartans had won three in a row.
Michigan's only other win in the previous 13 meetings was on Jan. 26, 2003, also at home.
The Wolverines went to the free throw line more often, and took advantage of it. They were 27-of-34 at the line while Michigan State was 6-of-10.
Michigan started strong, with Horton scoring on a fadeaway jumper and a 3-pointer in the first 30 seconds then the Wolverines didn't have a field goal for nearly 5 minutes.
The Spartans went on a 25-7 run - keyed by four 3-pointers - and they maintained a big lead until Michigan scored the last four points of the first half, pulling within seven.
After Michigan State opened the second half with a basket to take a 41-32 lead, Brown made two baskets and Coleman had a steal and a basket to pull the Wolverines within three.
Hunter started Michigan's lead-changing run with a putback off his own miss and scored seven of nine points to put the Wolverines ahead 48-45 with 11:14 to go.
Michigan State had trouble running plays against the scrappy Wolverines - after shooting 59 percent in the first half - leading to 17 turnovers.