Michigan Basketball Destroys Michigan State, Continues Jekyll and Hyde Season
Michigan basketball badly needed a win over Michigan State Tuesday night and the Wolverines got one, in resounding fashion.
The 2016-17 Michigan basketball team is getting really hard to figure out. One night, the Wolverines lose a home game they should win.
The next time, in a game that seems like a toss up, Michigan basketball wins by 29. It’s been that kind of season for the Wolverines, but the only thing that mattered Tuesday night, was ending a five-game losing streak to the Spartans.
The win was the most lopsided for the Wolverines over the Spartans since 1948. More importantly, it got Michigan basketball to 15-9 overall and 5-6 in the Big Ten.
— Michigan Basketball (@umichbball) February 8, 2017
Sunday’s showdown in Bloomington with fellow bubble team Indiana now looms very large.
But before getting a chance to get back to .500 in conference play, Michigan first had to take care of its arch rival, which it did with incredible shooting and forcing turnovers.
Much like when UM rolled Indiana a couple weeks back, the Wolverines shot 60 percent from the field against the Spartans and were good on 47.6 percent of their 3-point attempts.
The much-maligned Michigan defense forced 20 turnovers and in the process, sparked an offensive explosion.
Derrick Walton Jr. and Mo Wagner each played well early and often. They sparked the Wolverines early, as Walton buried his first couple of shots. when the night was over, Walton had 20 points, Wagner 19.
Michigan was 10-of-21 from beyond the arc, Walton, who has been playing out of his mind, was 3-of-3. Duncan Robinson was 2-of-4, but drained this dagger before the halftime buzzer to give UM a 55-26 lead.
— Michigan Athletics (@UMichAthletics) February 8, 2017
Yet the key point of the game came in the first half, when a 12-0 Wolverines run, made a 23-19 game, a 32-19 game. That run featured two triples by Walton and another by Xavier Simpson.
Up 42-27, the Wolverines went on a 13-2 run to close the first half, capped by Robinson’s three, which nearly ripped the roof off of Crisler Arena.
Michigan basketball had a good night. the kind of night it needed. And in truth, there are few things better than beating the tar out of Michigan State.
Yet, if the Wolverines expect to make the field of 68, it will need to find some level of consistency. The Jekyll and Hyde act will only work for so long before you find yourself headed to the NIT.
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