Freshman guard Trey Burke lead No. 19 Michigan to a one-point win and its third straight win over rival No.9 Michigan State 60-59.
Burke had 20 points for the Wolverines (15-4, 5-2 Big Ten) while shooting 73 percent from the field including three three-pointers in his first game against the rival Spartans (15-4, 4-2 Big Ten).
“If you look in the last 10 or 12 years, it hasn’t been much of a rivalry,” said head coach John Beilein. “They’ve been beating us.”
U of M lead from start to finish in the first half and went into the locker room with a 36-29 lead.
But MSU came back in the second half and took the lead with 6:49 to go in the game and it got out to a four point lead with four minutes to go.
The Spartans wouldn’t make another shot from the field.
After a pair of free throws for MSU and a pair of layups from sophomore guard Tim Hardaway Jr. the Wolverines were down one with 44 seconds left when Burke found senior guard Stu Douglass open under the basket for a 60-59 lead.
“After my third dribble I felt somebody hit the ball out of my hand, but he popped it up and I caught it,” Burke said. “Then I saw Stu (Douglass) out of the corner of my eye.”
U of M had to play some defense the last 38 seconds of the game and the Spartans rebounded a shot from sophomore Keith Appling and senior forward Draymond Green missed a leaner as time expired.
“That was the greatest feeling when the buzzer went off,” Burke said.
The Wolverines were out rebounded by MSU 15-31, but they handled the ball better as committing less turnovers (8-14).
“They’re (MSU) a great team,” Douglass said. “They killed us inside with rebounding.”
U of M extended its home winning streak to 13 games (12-0 this season) and is now in second place in the Big Ten behind No. 25 Illinois.
“The crowd was electric,” Hardaway Jr. said. “We feed off them, they feed off us and it’s a big reason why we’re undefeated at home.”
The Wolverines hit the road for their next three games starting with a non-conference game Saturday at 2 p.m. at Arkansas (13-4, 2-1 SEC). They’ll return to Big Ten play against Purdue and No. 6 Ohio State.
Hall of Fame coach and announcer Dick Vitale tweeted after the game, “Trey Burke is a top notch Diaper Dandy- sparks Michigan W in a Maalox Masher 60-59 over MSU #Big10Best.”