Michigan bolstered its late-season push for an NCAA Tournament bid and seriously damaged Michigan State’s with a 70-63 win over their cross-state rivals on Saturday.
Tim Hardaway Jr. scored all 20 of his points in the second half as Michigan (19-12, 9-9 Big Ten) hung on for their first season sweep of MSU since 1997. Evan Smotrycz added a key 14 points off the bench and Darius Morris had five rebounds and six assists to go along with his 13 points.
Michigan led MSU (17-13, 9-9) by as many as 14 at one point, but the Spartans hung around thanks to senior guard Kalin Lucas’ 25 points. Lucas got the Spartans to within just two points with six minutes to play, but Jordan Morgan quickly responded with a slam dunk that energized the crowd and the rest of the Wolverines.
MSU got to within five on a pair of Lucas free throws with 29 seconds left, and then got Morris to turn the ball over on the ensuing possession. But Morris made up for it after the Spartans failed to convert.
Using some slick moves, Morris evaded several Spartan defenders in a coast-to-coast drive for a running layup with four seconds left to seal the victory as MSU failed to foul the sophomore guard.