Humbled: No. 4 Michigan embarrassed in a 75-52 thumping at No. 8 Michigan State
On Tuesday in East Lansing, the Wolverines had their lunch handed to them.
No. 8 Michigan State got 17 points from freshman Gary Harris and fourth-ranked Michigan shot just 39.6 percent from the floor in an embarrassing, 75-52 loss at the Breslin Center.
The game marked the first time in the history of the series that both teams squared off as top 10 opponents, and Michigan State owned it basically from the tip.
With the win, Michigan (21-4, 8-4) now falls two full games behind the Spartans (21-4, 10-2) atop the Big Ten standings.
The loss was easily Michigan's worst of the season, and its most lopsided defeat since a 23-point loss against Purdue in the 2010-11 season. The loss also marks the first regular-season two-game skid since 2011 for the Wolverines.
The 23-point margin for Michigan State marked the most lopsided win in the series since MSU scored a 71-44 win in 2002.
Michigan held it together for about six minutes Tuesday, but the Spartans pounded the ball inside and hounded the Wolverines into mistake after mistake in a dreadful first half.
Branden Dawson's steal and slam brought the Breslin crowd to its feet with 8:50 to go before the break, and six minutes later, freshman Matt Costello converted a tip-in to cap a 15-4 run to put MSU up 16.
Michigan got back within 12 early in the second half, but Keith Appling answered a Trey Burke 3-point play with a personal 6-0 run, pushing MSU's edge to 19 and sending the sold out Breslin Center into a fever pitch.
The lead would grow as high as 31 after a Keith Appling foul shot made it 70-39 with 6:00 to play.
Both teams would empty their benches with less than two minutes to play.
-- Michigan completely crumbled under the pressure of a raucous environment during the first half again -- going 10 of 24 from the floor with 7 turnovers in the first half. The Wolverines also played basically no defense in the first 20 minutes, as the Spartans shot 53 percent from the floor early -- and it was relatively easy.
-- Tim Hardaway Jr. found the wrong time to cool off, he went 0 of 6 in the first half. He finished 1 of 11 rom the floor, and is now 2 of 21 in his last two games at the Breslin Center after going 1 of 10 last season.
-- Mitch McGary earned his first career start, but it didn't matter. MSU pounded the ball inside to Derrick Nix and Adreian Payne early, and Branden Dawson attacked the hoop at will. Dawson and Nix were 8 of 10 in the first half alone, going for a combined 18 points.
-- Glenn Robinson III was quiet, at best, again. He finished with 2 points and 2 rebounds in 21 minutes.
-- Michigan was bludgeoned in the paint, 36-22.
-- Michigan turned the ball over 10 times in the game's first 25 minutes, an absolute recipe for disaster against any opponent. The Wolverines finished with a season-worst 16 turnovers.
-- Trey Burke found a way to score, even if no one else on the roster did. Burke finished with a a team-high 18 points on 7 of 11 shooting.
-- That's literally about it. Michigan was not good in this one. Not at all.
ISSUE OF THE DAY: REVISITED
-- Not only did Michigan not ride the wave of emotion at the Breslin Center, but it never even punched back.
Michigan State basically took the game from Michigan in the first half with toughness and physicality, and the Wolverines stood by and watched.
A humbling setback if ever there were one.
Did anyone see this one coming? Michigan is a long way away from the team that opened the season 20-1, what do the Wolverines have to do to get their swagger back?
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