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Spartans continue Big Ten push, beat Michigan State, 73-63

Michigan forward Olivier Nkamhoua (13) passes the ball while defended by Michigan State forward Jaxon Kohler (0) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024, in Ann Arbor, Mich. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Tyson Walker had 19 points, Malik Hall scored 18 and Michigan State beat Michigan 73-63 on Saturday night for its first win at Crisler Center since 2019.

“It’s been a long five years,” said Hall, who is playing in his fifth season. “This is my first one.”

Hall, though, said it didn’t sound like a road game.

“The whole game I heard, `Go green! Go white!'” he said.

Michigan State (17-9, 9-6) has won three straight and five of six to move into a third-place tie with Wisconsin in the Big Ten.

Michigan overcame 14.3% shooting from 3-point range (2 for 14) by making 17 of 21 (81%) at the foul line. The Spartans made nine more trips to the foul line than Michigan, which was 8 for 12.

Michigan State outscored the Wolverines 10-0 over the final seven minutes during which Michigan turned it over five times in a six-possession sequence.

“It just goes to show how important defense is,” Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said.

Will Tschetter’s layup with 7:01 left brought the Wolverines into a 63-all tie before they missed their last five shot attempts.

Michigan State led 39-37 at intermission before Michigan outscored the Spartans 13-6 in the first six minutes of the second half and led 50-45 behind a pair of layups and a jump shot by Olivier Nkamhoua.

Tarris Reed Jr. recorded his third double-double of the season with 15 points and 11 rebounds, Dug McDaniel scored 13, Jaelin Llewellyn 12, Nkamhoua 11 and Nimari Burnett 10 for the Wolverines (8-18, 3-12).

Michigan played without senior forward Terrance Williams II (12.5 points per game) due to illness. The Wolverines have lost eight of their last nine and 15 of 17.

“If I crack and I explode, that’s gonna trickle down to the players,” embattled coach Juwan Howard said. “It’s my job to continue coaching, teaching, and find positive energy each and every day.”

The Spartans host Iowa on Tuesday.

Michigan travels to Northwestern on Thursday.

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