Feb. 12, 2005
By LARRY LAGE
AP Sports Writer
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - Michigan's student section did Michigan State a favor.
Motivated by criticism of his play in the series, Shannon Brown scored eight of his 14 points in the opening minutes to help the Spartans earn a big lead they maintained easily in a 64-49 victory over the Wolverines on Saturday.
The Maize Rage fired up Brown before the game when he read its newsletter. The comment next to his name was, "Has regressed from scoring 6 points to 4 to 2 in three matchups against Michigan."
Brown scored on a driving layup on the first possession and followed up with a dunk off a steal, a jumper and another layup to give the Spartans (No. 12 ESPN/USA Today; No. 13 AP) a 14-7 lead 5:06 into the game.
"You always try to find little things like that to motivate you," Brown said. "I guess they felt I was going to score zero."
Michigan State's Alan Anderson scored 16 points, reserve Chris Hill had 11 points and Paul Davis scored 10. The Spartans (17-4, 8-2 Big Ten) have won 14 of their last 16 games and have lost only one of the previous 13 matchups against the Wolverines.
"It's been a strange rivalry the past 10 years," said Michigan State coach Tom Izzo, who lost his first five games against the Wolverines.
Michigan's Dion Harris scored 22 points, but none of his teammates had more than seven.
"He did all he could do," Michigan coach Tommy Amaker said. "We can't expect him to carry the entire load."
The reeling Wolverines (12-13, 3-8) have lost eight straight, their longest losing streak since dropping 11 in a row during the 1981-82 season.
Michigan's Graham Brown was disappointed in his team's effort compared to how it played in a 57-51 loss to No. 1 Illinois on Tuesday.
"We weren't working as hard," Brown said.
Sparked by Shannon Brown's making his first four shots, Michigan State was ahead by as many as 11 in the first half and led 30-20 at halftime.
"They had it in gear early," Amaker said. "They just pushed it right at us and got easy layup after easy layup. They put us on our heels and had a cushion to work with for the rest of the game."
Brown's jumper midway through the second half gave the Spartans an 18-point lead, their largest.
Michigan rallied within eight with just under 3 minutes left, but then Anderson made consecutive jumpers in the lane and later added a dunk during a 10-0 run. The 6-foot-6 senior also defended Michigan's guards and post players.
"Alan Anderson might have had his best game as a Spartan on both ends of the court," Izzo said.
The Wolverines were without standout point guard Daniel Horton, who is indefinitely suspended, for a sixth straight game. Horton's preliminary hearing on a charge of domestic violence is Monday.
Harris hopes Horton will play Wednesday at No. 20 Wisconsin.
"I don't want the guy's season to be over because of the mistake he had, or situation that he has," he said.