The Michigan basketball team traveled to East Lansing Sunday looking to end a four game skid against the Michigan State Spartans, but alas, it was not meant to be.
The Breslin Center curse is still alive and well.
The Wolverines were lack luster from tip-off and never could match the intensity of the Spartans, who defeated Michigan 70-62.
Michigan drops to 14-8 and 4-5 in Big Ten play. The Spartans improve to 13-9 and 5-4 in conference.
U-M came in with all the momentum, winning two of its last three and a convincing 30-point win over Indiana on Thursday. MSU, however, came in on a three-game losing streak and something to prove.
Michigan State got an all-around effort from its team, led by freshman Miles Bridges with 15 points, 13 rebounds and three steals. The high school All-American was too much for DJ Wilson all game and showed why he is a projected NBA lottery pick.
Fellow freshmen Cassius Winston and Nick Ward added 16 and 13 points, respectively. Winston shot 10-of-11 from the free throw line, while Ward was an efficient 6-of-6 shooting from the field.
Sophomore Matt McQuaid provided just enough off the bench for the Spartans with nine points on 3-of-3 behind the arc.
One Man Show
For Michigan, it appeared senior Derrick Walton was the only one interested in playing. Walton led all players with 24 points on 4-of-12 shooting and 14-of-15 at the free throw line. Walton was active all game and put the team on his back in the second half.
It was Walton’s first time playing in East Lansing since his freshman season—the last time Michigan won at the Breslin Center.
What Happened to Irvin
While Walton was fantastic Sunday, his senior counterpart struggled mightily. Zak Irvin — who was reportedly held out of practice Thursday and Friday with the flu — was held scoreless for the first time this season.
Irvin shot a dreadful 0-of-8 from the field and had three turnovers in 36 minutes. Irvin only had two rebounds and one steal as well.
The former five-star prospect has long been considered a disappointment by U-M fans, but this is truly a new low for him. If Michigan wants to make a run at the NCAA Tournament, Irvin will no doubt have to re-gain his confidence and help Walton lead this team.
Sophomore Moritz Wagner had a poor first half, but came alive in the second half Sunday. The German big-man scored only 10 points, but was a solid 4-of-6 from the field and had eight rebounds. Junior Mark Donnal contributed seven points off the bench and was 2-of-3 on 3-pointers.
Michigan heads back to Ann Arbor and will face its other rival Ohio State at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Crisler Center.