Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 3/3/13
Michigan basketball (24-5, 11-4) won an instant classic on Sunday afternoon against the Michigan State Spartans (22-7, 11-5), 58-57. Two late game steals by National Player of the Year candidate Trey Burke kept the Wolverines from blowing a 10-point 2nd half lead. With all of the offensive prowess that Burke displays, those two swipes may go down as his career highlights. Trey Burke and Glenn Robinson III How They Won ‘Grit’ was the buzzword John Beilein went with in his postgame presser. After the disaster at Penn State this young Wolverines team needed to respond emotionally and they did. Michigan State controlled the first half but only led 31-28 thanks to back-to-back buckets by Michigan to close out the opening frame. Tom Izzo’s team dominated Michigan on the glass, 23-13 before the break and continued that theme throughout. Despite an overall rebounding disadvantage of 44-29, Michigan won the turnover battle in convincing fashion, which allowed them to take a 10-point lead in the 2nd half. A key moment came with Michigan up 52-42 with 4:35 left. Trey Burke, who played a sensational game, drove for a layup that would have put Michigan up a dozen, and potentially demoralize the Spartans, but somehow missed it. Michigan State instantly responded with a bizarre 5-point possession and finally drew even after a pair of Keith Appling free throws. Michigan turned the ball over in what could have been their last two possessions in regulation. With the shot clock turned off, Izzo had the chance at an overtime or win situation. Burke was having none of it. Playing with a level of emotion that we have never seen out of #3, Burke stripped Appling clean and finished with a 2-handed dunk to give Michigan a 58-56 lead. On the ensuing possession Derrick Nix was fouled and made just one. The Spartans, down one, were able to foul Mitch McGary on the inbounds play and he missed the front end of the one-and-one. Izzo grabbed a timeout with 4.9 seconds left and a chance to win. The play was a 2-man game between Gary Harris and Appling. Harris took the inbounds but was locked up by Tim Hardaway, Jr. As Harris moved to his left he flipped a pass toward Appling that never got there. Trey Burke had just claimed his 2nd steal in the game’s final 30 seconds to seal the win for Michigan. Burke had a game-high 21 points. He ran a terrific floor game with 8 assists to just 1 turnover. MSU was led by a strong double-double from Adreian Payne. The Spartan forward had 17 and 12 but fortunately for Michigan, just 5 of his 17 points came in the 2nd half. Harris scored 16 on 7-16 shooting for the Spartans. 3 Stars Trey Burke – Burke might need to ice his hands after all of the floor-slapping he did on the defensive end. The 2 steals he yanked at the end of the game were the stuff of legend. On top of his 21 points and 8 assists he grabbed 4 boards and swiped the Spartans 5 times. Jordan Morgan – Morgan’s post defense was once again a huge difference-maker for Michigan, ala the Illinois game. Morgan completely nullified Nix in the post. Nix had 7 points on 2-9 shooting. Morgan had 4 points, 7 rebounds, 3 steals, and was scrapping hard on defense all night long. Mitch McGary – McGary turned in an impressive game going for 11 points and 4 rebounds. He combined with Morgan to turn in some great dual-post action for Beilein and to help keep Nix and Branden Dawson (2 points) out of the mix. News and Notes Michigan was outrebounded 44-29. Michigan won the turnover battle 7-18. The Wolverines were 0-12 from three point land. John Beilein remembered a game he coached about 20 years ago where his Canisius team went something like 0-20 from three. The difference was that team lost while Michigan found a way to get the ‘W’ today. Caris LeVert logged a career-high 30 minutes and finished with 8 points and another strong defensive game. He subbed for Nik Stauskas who went out after taking a big elbow to the eye from Dawson. Stauskas received 12 stitches and more updates will be coming on his health. Glenn Robinson III had 8 points and 3 rebounds and played one of his better defensive games at the collegiate level as he took 2 charges. Trey Burke has now scored the fifth most points through his sophomore season in Michigan history. Burke only trails Chris Webber, Jalen Rose, Manny Harris, and Phil Hubbard. Michigan edged the Spartans on points in the paint, 44-26. Most of that came on action created by Burke. Michigan’s bench outscored the Spartan reserves, 19-6. Michigan scored 18 points off of turnovers to just 9 for MSU. Up Next Michigan will play their final road game of the season on Wednesday at Purdue. Tip is set for 7 eastern and the game will be televised on the Big Ten Network. Video If you would like to receive an email notification each time a Michigan Basketball story is posted you can fill out the Email Notification Form. 

This article first appeared on isportsweb.com and was syndicated with permission.

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