Burke lifts Wolverines over Spartans

Associated Press  |  Last updated March 03, 2013
Trey Burke stole the ball from Keith Appling near midcourt and went in alone for a dunk with 22 seconds remaining, then made another steal in the final seconds to give No. 4 Michigan a pulsating 58-57 win over No. 9 Michigan State on Sunday. The Spartans (22-7, 11-5 Big Ten) had the ball with the shot clock off at 56-all, but Burke's first big defensive play enabled Michigan (24-5, 11-5) to take the lead. After Derrick Nix made one of two free throws and Mitch McGary missed the front end of a 1-and-1 for Michigan, Burke stole a pass by Gary Harris to end it. The Michigan State loss clinches at least a share of the Big Ten title for Indiana. The Wolverines avenged a 75-52 loss at Michigan State last month. Burke had 21 points and eight assists. Michigan won despite going 0-for-12 from 3-point range, which seemed like an impossible turn of events after the defensively maligned Wolverines lost at Penn State on Wednesday night. Michigan trailed 31-28 at halftime but shut down Michigan State for extended stretches and eventually took a 52-42 lead when Burke made two free throws with 4:36 to play. The Spartans rallied behind relentless offensive rebounding. Michigan State had 19 offensive rebounds for the game, and the Spartans nearly won despite 18 turnovers. Appling pulled Michigan State even at 56 when he made two free throws with 54.8 seconds remaining, and when McGary stepped on the baseline, the Spartans had a chance to hold for the last shot. Instead, they weren't even able to get a play going. Burke gambled a bit, going for the steal, and he put the Wolverines ahead 58-56. Nix was fouled with 8.8 seconds left, but he missed the first free throw. After he made the second, the Spartans fouled McGary, who couldn't add to Michigan's lead. Michigan State called a timeout with 4.9 seconds left but never got a shot off. The Spartans have lost three straight, to Indiana, Ohio State and Michigan, and their tough stretch isn't over. They face Wisconsin next. Adreian Payne had 17 points and Harris added 16 for the Spartans. With both teams desperately trying to maintain some hope of a league title after their recent struggles, this game was intense from the start. Payne, who had attempted only 20 shots from beyond the arc all season, made two 3-pointers in the early going. Michigan freshman Nik Stauskas played only four minutes. He didn't return after leaving with a cut over his left eye after a scramble for a rebound early in the game.
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