Senior Cassius Winston scored a career-high 32 points and dished out nine assists to lead No. 14 Michigan State to an 87-69 victory over visiting No. 12 Michigan on Sunday in East Lansing, Mich.
The Spartans (12-3, 4-0 Big Ten) have four consecutive victories over the Wolverines, including a three-game sweep last season. Xavier Tillman scored 20 points and pulled down 11 rebounds for Michigan State.
Senior Jon Teske scored 15 before fouling out with 3:41 to play to lead Michigan (10-4, 1-2). Zavier Simpson scored 14 and had eight assists for the Wolverines, while sophomore Brandon Johns Jr. scored 12 and freshman Franz Wagner chipped in 10.
Michigan was 5-for-23 from 3-point range with guard Isaiah Livers on the bench because of a groin injury. He has made half of his 58 3-point tries this season.
Winston and Tillman combined to spark Michigan State early, scoring 13 of the Spartans’ first 15 points as Michigan State opened a 15-8 lead. But Michigan’s size was a factor as the Wolverines scored 22 points in the paint in the first half with Teske leading the way with 11 while senior Austin Davis chipped in seven points off the bench.
After a back-and-forth battle for most of the first half, Michigan State started to pull away late in the half. A 3-pointer from sophomore Marcus Bingham Jr. gave the Spartans a 44-31 lead, but Teske answered with the Wolverines’ second triple of the half with just over a minute left for the final points before the break.
It wasn’t long before Winston started to take control in the second half. Winston nailed back-to-back 3-pointers and scored eight consecutive Michigan State points for a 58-45 lead.
Michigan State kept pouring it on as Winston found Kyle Ahrens for a corner jumper, hit a pull-up jumper then split a pair of free throw attempts. When freshman Rocket Watts scored on a drive to the hoop, the Spartans were up 67-51 with just less than 12 minutes to play.
Michigan made a couple of more runs, getting within 71-63, but Michigan State held off its rival and pulled away late.
—Field Level Media