East Lansing, MI, United States (4E Sports) – Derrick Walton Jr. scored 10 of his 19 points in the last 2:29 as No. 21 Michigan held on en route to an 80-75 triumph over No. 3 Michigan State Saturday at Jack Breslin Student Events Center.
Walton followed Nik Stauskas’ three-point shot with a three-point play and two foul shots to give the Wolverines a 68-60 lead with 1:58 left to play.
After a jumper by Alvin Ellis III, Walton sank two more foul shots to push the Wolverines’ lead to 72-64 with 51 seconds left in the game.
Gary Harris sank a jumper for the Spartans but Glenn Robinson III buried two foul shots to keep Michigan State at bay with a 74-66 advantage.
Keith Appling split his charities before Walton buried two more foul shots for a 76-67 lead but the Spartans won’t go away as Alvin Ellis III and Harris back-to-back triples to cut the deficit to 77-73.
Walton then split his charities and Caris LeVert sealed the final count with two more free throws as the Wolverines (15-4) notched their ninth straight victory and third straight win over Top 10 rivals.
With their eighth Big Ten win in as many games, the Wolverines snatched the conference lead from their in-state rivals.
Stauskas also finished with 19 points while LeVert added 17 for the Wolverines, who ended the Spartans’ 11-game winning run.
Harris scored 27 points, Ellis added 12 while Appling had 10 for the Spartans (18-2, 7-1 Big Ten), who played without starters Adreian Payne and Branden Dawson.
The 6-foot-9 Payne missed his fifth game due to a foot injury. He is second on the team in scoring (16.2 points per game) and rebounding (7.7).
Payne will be joined on the sideline by teammate Branden Dawson, who is out four to five weeks after suffering a broken bone in his hand when he slammed a table in frustration. Dawson is averaging 10.2 points and a team-high 8.7 rebounds.