Jan. 27, 2011
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Zack Novak scored 19 points and Stu Douglass made a big 3-pointer with 20 seconds left, lifting the Wolverines to a 61-57 victory over the 25th-ranked Spartans on Thursday night.
Douglass' 3 from the right wing - his only one in four attempts - gave Michigan a five-point lead that essentially sealed the win.
"He's made some big shots, but none like that," coach John Beilein said.
The Wolverines (12-9, 2-6 Big Ten) had lost six straight games this season and 11 in a row at the Breslin Center, dating to 1997.
"I think I was in first grade or second grade," Novak said. "So it's just sweet."
The Spartans (12-8, 4-4) have lost three straight games.
"It's not a very good situation we're in," coach Tom Izzo said somberly. "We're not kidding anybody."
Darius Morris had 17 points and Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 10 for the Wolverines, who made 10 of 21 3-pointers and grabbed as many rebounds as the bigger Spartans.
Michigan was outrebounded by Minnesota by 25 in its previous game, leading to a team meeting.
The Wolverines weren't stronger or more experienced than Michigan State, but seemed to have a greater sense of urgency to win more than their staggering rivals did.
"They wanted it more than us and got every loose ball," Delvon Roe said.
The Wolverines, who had lost the previous four games in the series, won for just fourth time in 22 games against Michigan State.
"I'm sure there are a lot of people that feel really good about winning up here," Beilein said.
Michigan, which led by as many as 10 points in the first half, went ahead by 14 shortly after halftime.
The Wolverines held off many Michigan State bursts and led 55-42 after Novak made his sixth 3-pointer with 7:17 left.
Freshman Keith Appling, who was 4 the last time Michigan won in East Lansing, made a 3-pointer to pull the Spartans within five with 4:41 to go.
Lucas scored five straight points to cut the deficit to two with just under 2 minutes left, but the Spartans couldn't make enough plays on offense or defense to get closer or go ahead.
"This one hurts," the senior said. "It's my first time losing to them."
In the opening minutes, it looked like Michigan State might have its way with Michigan as it did the previous 11 games in East Lansing - winning those games by an average of 19-plus points.
The Summers-led Spartans got off to a good start, scoring the first six points, but the Wolverines quickly proved they weren't going to be the same pushover they've been at the Breslin Center for more than a decade.
Michigan went on an 8-1 run to take the lead and Novak made his fourth 3-pointer midway through the first half to make it 20-16.
The Wolverines built a 10-point lead late in the first half, then gave up a couple shots and led 33-27 at halftime.
Novak matched a career high with six 3-pointers, making his fourth midway through the first half.
Michigan State had chances to come back after halftime and its famed crowd cheered loudly - with Gov. Rick Snyder sitting courtside - but Michigan answered each and every time its lead was challenged.