No. 20 Michigan 79, No. 13 Michigan State 70: Over the past few weeks, as opposing defenses keyed in on him, Michigan’s Nik Stauskas remained patient, hesitant to force anything at the offensive end.
Then Michigan State came to town — and that all changed in a big way.
Stauskas scored 21 of his 25 points in the second half, repeatedly making contested shots from the perimeter to help the Wolverines defeat the visiting Spartans yesterday. Michigan rallied from an 11-point first-half deficit and wrested first place in the Big Ten from its instate rival.
“I just came out with the mindset in the second half that I wasn’t going to be stopped,” Stauskas said. “Once I made a couple shots, it kept going from there.”
Caris LeVert of Pickerington Central added 23 points for the Wolverines (19-7, 11-3), who won both regular-season meetings against Michigan State.
The Spartans (22-6, 11-4) started well, but only led 36-34 at halftime. Then Stauskas and LeVert led a second-half charge. The Wolverines trailed 52-51 before going on a 13-0 run.
Michigan scored 45 points in the second half — after blitzing the Spartans for 50 after halftime in an 80-75 victory in East Lansing last month.
“The first game, I was very proud of our effort. This game, we looked tired,” Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said. “I’m not very proud of our effort.”
Nebraska 76, Purdue 57: Terran Petteway scored 29 points to lead host Nebraska (16-10, 8-6 Big Ten) over Purdue (15-12, 5-9) for its fifth straight victory.
The Cornhuskers used a 26-8 second-half run to blow the game open.
Nebraska has won five straight conference games for the first times since 1998-99 and won eight conference games for the first time since 2008-09, when it was a member of the Big 12.
SMU 64, No. 21 Connecticut 55: Nick Russell and Nic Moore each scored 15 points to lead Southern Methodist (22-6, 11-4 American Athletic Conference) over host Connecticut (21-6, 9-5).
Toledo 85, Ball State 74: Julius Brown scored 20 points to lead host Toledo (23-4, 11-3 Mid-American Conference) over Ball State (4-21, 1-13).
Miami 55, Bowling Green 52: Willie Moore and Will Felder scored 11 points apiece, and Miami University (10-15, 6-8 MAC) built an early lead and held on at the end to defeat Bowling Green (11-16, 5-9).
No. 2 Notre Dame 81, No. 7 Duke 70: Kayla McBride scored 31 points, and host Notre Dame (27-0, 14-0) jumped to an 18-point lead early and held on to defeat Duke (24-4, 11-3) to claim the Atlantic Coast Conference title in its first season in the league.
No. 21 Purdue 70, Wisconsin 54: April Wilson scored 18 points, and host Purdue (20-7, 10-5 Big Ten) went on a 25-3 run in the second half to defeat Wisconsin (10-17, 3-12).