The Associated Press
EAST LANSING, Mich. — Zack Novak scored 19 points and Stu Douglass made a big 3-pointer with 20 seconds left, lifting Michigan to a 61-57 victory against No. 25 Michigan State on Thursday night.
The Wolverines (12-9, 2-6 Big Ten) had lost six consecutive games this season and 11 in a row at Michigan State.
The Spartans (12-8, 4-4) have lost three consecutive, slumping to the bottom of The Associated Press poll after being ranked No. 2 in the preseason.
Michigan State’s Kalin Lucas scored 27 points, Durrell Summers had 13 points and a season-high 10 rebounds and Draymond Green, who fouled out, added nine points.
Darius Morris had 17 points and Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 10 for the Wolverines, who made 10 of 21 3-pointers and grabbed as many rebounds as the bigger Spartans.
Novak matched a career high with six 3-pointers, making his fourth midway through the first half. Michigan was outrebounded by Minnesota by 25 in its previous game.
Douglass’ 3 from the right wing – his only one in four attempts – gave Michigan a 60-55 lead.
The Wolverines weren’t stronger or more experienced than Michigan State, but they seemed to want to win more than their slumping rivals did just two days after a second player was kicked off their team in five months.
Michigan State junior guard Korie Lucious was dismissed for the rest of the season on Tuesday and guard Chris Allen wasn’t welcomed back for his senior season, both catching the wrath of coach Tom Izzo for unspecified reasons.
The Wolverines won at the Breslin Center for the first time since Jan. 25, 1997, and for just the fourth time in 22 games against Michigan State.
Michigan, which led by as many as 10 points in the first half, went ahead by 14 shortly after halftime.
The Wolverines held off many Michigan State bursts and led 55-42 after Novak made his sixth 3-pointer with 7:17 left.
Freshman Keith Appling, who was 4 years old the last time Michigan won in East Lansing, made a 3-pointer to pull the Spartans within five with 4:41 to go.
Lucas scored five consecutive points to cut the deficit to two with just under 2 minutes left, but the Spartans couldn’t make the shots or get the stops needed to get closer or go ahead.
In the opening minutes, it looked like Michigan State might have its way with Michigan as it did the previous 11 games in East Lansing – winning those games by an average of 19-plus points.
The Summers-led Spartans got off to a good start, scoring the first six points, but the Wolverines quickly proved they weren’t going to be the same pushover they’ve been at the Breslin Center for more than a decade.
Michigan went on an 8-1 run to take the lead and Novak made his fourth 3-pointer midway through the first half to make it 20-16. The Wolverines built a 10-point lead late in the first half, then gave up a couple shots and led 33-27 at halftime.