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Michigan Wolverines vs. Michigan St Spartans Pick & Prediction JAN 29TH 2022

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Logo Michigan St Spartans

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Michigan looks like a much more dangerous team than when it was originally scheduled to face in-state rival Michigan State.

The showdown was delayed by three weeks due to COVID-19 issues within the Wolverines program. That postponement of the game in Ann Arbor has yet to be rescheduled, however the teams will play on the Spartans' home floor in East Lansing on Saturday afternoon.

Not only were the Wolverines dealing with virus issues earlier this month, they also were struggling on the court. Michigan had lost three of its last four games prior to the Jan. 8 postponement.

The Wolverines are now a much healthier and confident group after winning the last three games. They collected convincing victories over Maryland and Indiana before they eked out a 72-70 home win over Northwestern on Wednesday.

Coach Juwan Howard said his team has improved defensively during the resurgence.

"Getting stops when we have to and also staying locked in on what is asked," Howard said. "Whether it's defensively, what coverage we're in, whether you're in man coverage, you're switching the ball screen or you're switching everything, or whether it's getting a defensive box out, so you get a defensive rebound. Those are all the little things that do not show up in a box score, but it matters and results to helping you win."

The Wolverines (10-7, 4-3 Big Ten) trailed the Wildcats 62-55 with 5:09 remaining. Freshman Caleb Houstan scored a team-high 18 points, including a 3-pointer with 1:38 remaining that gave Michigan the lead for good.

Houstan is averaging 17.7 points during the streak after scoring in single digits four of his previous five games.

"Very proud of how our team, when we were down seven, how we were being together and fought really hard to figure out a way how to dig deep and get a victory," Howard said. "Each possession mattered to this group."

No. 10 Michigan State (15-4, 6-2) held the top spot in the conference until it dropped a 56-55 decision at Illinois on Tuesday. The Spartans trailed by 14 points at halftime but nearly forced overtime. Malik Hall missed one of two free throws with two-tenths of a second remaining in regulation.

"Very disappointing the way we played," coach Tom Izzo said. "Winning and losing right now, for me, I'm way beyond that. I don't worry about winning and losing as much as how we played. So I'm not real happy with the way we played. And we'll just keep working at it."

The Spartans won their first five conference games before dropping a 64-62 decision to visiting Northwestern on Jan. 15. The loss to the Fighting Illini came after a 12-point victory over No. 8 Wisconsin on Jan. 21.

Turnovers have been a season-long concern for Izzo. Illinois scored 15 points in the first half off nine Spartans turnovers.

"It's kind of the same old, same old," Izzo said. "We get off to a poor start, we turned the ball over nine times in the first half and two in the second half. We've been consistently inconsistent. And every time I think we're taking a step forward, a couple guys take two steps back."

The Spartans and Wolverines met twice in a span of four days last season. Michigan posted a 69-50 win in the first matchup in Ann Arbor on March 4 before Michigan State responded with a 70-64 triumph in East Lansing.

--Field Level Media

Michigan Wolverines
Michigan St Spartans

Michigan Wolverines vs. Michigan St Spartans Recap JAN 29TH 2022

Max Christie had 16 points, Malik Hall added 15 and No. 10 Michigan State pulled away from Michigan, 83-67, at East Lansing on Saturday.

Joey Hauser supplied 14 points and A.J. Hoggard had a double-double with 11 points and 10 assists for the Spartans (16-4, 7-2 Big Ten). Gabe Brown chipped in nine points as Michigan State bounced back from a one-point loss at Illinois.

Hunter Dickinson carried the Wolverines (10-8, 4-4) with 25 points and six rebounds. Moussa Diabate had 11 points and nine rebounds for Michigan, which saw its three-game winning streak snapped. Caleb Houstan also contributed 11 points.

Michigan State's bench outscored Michigan's reserves 33-6. The Spartans shot 55.4 percent, compared to Michigan's 37.1 percent shooting, and scored 28 fast-break points.

The Spartans have won five of the last seven meetings between the in-state rivals.

Neither team had a lead larger than six points in the first half, which ended with Michigan State on top 39-35. Bench points were the difference, as the Spartans reserves outscored the Wolverines' second unit 16-0.

The Spartans overcame nine first-half turnovers by shooting 51.7 percent from the field. Christie led the way with 14 points and Hall had 11. Dickinson had 14 points and Diabate tossed in nine for Michigan.

Michigan State opened the second half with a 14-3 run to gain a 53-38 lead. Bingham got it going with a turnaround jumper. Hoggard had a pair of baskets during that span.

Hoggard also had an offensive rebound that led to a Hall basket. Julius Marble had a putback after Hall missed a 3-pointer. Brown finished off the run with a fast-break dunk after Dickinson lost the ball to Jordan Akins.

A Hauser layup with 9:06 left made it a 16-point game at 60-44.

Hall hit two free throws with 3:05 left to give the Spartans a 20-point advantage, 78-58.

--Field Level Media

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