ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Derrick Walton had 20 points and eight assists, and Michigan rolled to an 86-57 victory over Michigan State on Tuesday night to equal the most lopsided victory over the Spartans since 1948.
The last time the Wolverines beat Michigan State by more was in a 66-33 victory Dec. 4, 1948. Michigan also beat the Spartans by 29 in a 75-46 win in 1996 — in Tom Izzo’s first season as Michigan State’s coach.
The Wolverines led 55-29 at halftime after shooting 75 percent from the field — and 8 of 11 from 3-point range — through the first 20 minutes.
Michigan (15-9, 5-6) continued its enigmatic run through Big Ten play. The Wolverines beat Indiana by 30 on Jan. 26, then lost at Michigan State and at home against Ohio State before routing the Spartans (14-10, 6-5) in Tuesday’s rematch.
Moe Wagner added 19 points for Michigan, which snapped a five-game losing streak in the series.
Miles Bridges scored 15 points for the Spartans.
As well as the Wolverines played offensively in the first half, they also did a good job disrupting the Spartans on defense, forcing early shot-clock violations that set the tone for the game. Michigan State turned it over 12 times in the first half, enabling the sharp-shooting Wolverines to open a huge lead.
D.J. Wilson’s dunk capped a stretch of seven consecutive made field goals by the Wolverines and put Michigan up 41-24. That streak ended moments later, but the Wolverines closed the half by making another five straight shots, including Duncan Robinson’s 3-pointer from the left corner on the final play.
Michigan State: The Spartans hadn’t allowed an opponent to shoot over 50 percent from the field all season. Michigan finished at 60 percent. The Spartans play four of their next five games at home, and this was certainly quite a wake-up call after a modest two-game winning streak.
Michigan: The loss to Ohio State was a low point for Michigan, but the Wolverines bounced back in the best way imaginable. Another loss at home would have put their NCAA Tournament hopes in a very precarious position.
Michigan State: The Spartans host Iowa on Saturday night.
Michigan: The Wolverines visit Indiana for a rematch with the Hoosiers on Sunday.