Michigan Basketball and Michigan State were less than two minutes to play when Kobe Bufkin and Hunter Dickinson hit back-to-back 3-pointers to help the Wolverines go on a 12-0 run in the final 1:58 of the game and to retire for the 84-72 win on an emotional night in Ann Arbor on Saturday.
Dug McDaniel had a career-high 18 points for Michigan (15-12, 9-7 Big Ten), Bufkin added 15, Dickinson had 14 points and seven rebounds, and Tarris Reed Jr. had eight points and a career-high 10 rebounds as the Wolverines rebounded off the Spartans 38-25.
Joey Hauser had a game-high 20 for MSU (16-10, 8-7), followed by 14 points from Malik Hall and 11 from Tyson Walker.
Before the notice, the Crisler Center was lit green during a ceremony honoring the victims of the Michigan State campus shooting earlier this week that killed three and seriously injured five. UM’s pep band played MSU’s alma mater after a moment of silence as the “Maize Rage” student section held up a banner that read “Spartan Strong.”
A quick start
Compared to the East Lansing rock fight in the first meeting, which MSU won 59-53, Saturday’s matchup was a track meeting. McDaniel scored the Wolverines’ first seven points with three straight buckets; a middle-distance jumper, a corner 3 and Walker steal and score to give Michigan an early 7-2 lead.
DECISIVE MOMENT:How a pair of back-to-back threes lead Michigan to victory over Michigan State
After a 3-pointer from Jett Howard gave UM a 12-9 lead, the MSU veterans got going. Walker buried a mid-range jumper, then Malik Hall caught an alley-oop from AJ Hoggard to raise MSU by one. The two sides would trade the next seven shots before a Hall slam, Carson Cooper layup and Hauser 3-pointer put MSU up 24-18.
The Wolverines hit back like they’ve been doing all night, with a Joey Baker 3-pointer and a McDaniel Floater to get on one. That’s when MSU ripped off a 9-2 sprint — a Tre Holloman baseline jumper, Hall midrange jumper and 3-pointers, and Walker’s scooping lefty layup to go 33-25.
Michigan closed the gap before halftime thanks to a long ball from Bufkin, two free throws from Dickinson and another bucket from Bufkin to put it 36-33 at the break.
After Hauser opened the second half with three free throws, Bufkin responded with a three to come back within three. The game would stay within a four-point lead almost the rest of the way. MSU took a 46-41 lead on a layup by Jaxon Kohler before Dickinson grabbed an offensive rebound and three-pointer play and Howard hit a mid-range jumper to level the game at 46.
Howard fell awkwardly onto his right ankle (he missed a game last month with a left ankle injury) and did not return.
Close to the end
The teams went back and forth. Hall hit a layup and Jaden Akins threw a thunderous slam in transition over Jace Howard to make four before back-to-back layups from Baker and Tschetter tied the score at 50.
The game would stay within three points until Hauser hit a 3-pointer to put MSU ahead 63-57 and force a UM timeout. The Wolverines came out of the break with their best response.
Dickinson kicked Baker out with a 3-pointer to cut the deficit in half, then Reed got a rebound and finished a layup on Hauser despite a foul. His free throw ended the game at 63 before tapping in a loose ball on next possession to end the game at 65.
Dickinson hit two free throws at 5:20 to set UM up for the first time since the 11:18 mark in the first half.
MSU leveled the game at 67 with two Hauser free throws, then again at 72 when Walker hit a 3-pointer over Baker. Bufkins long ball came with less than three seconds on the shot clock before Dickinsons came off the wing with 1:05 to play.
MSU would not score again, going 2-for-13 from the field over the final 8:22 of the game.
Contact Tony Garcia at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at @realtonygarcia.