Tuesday, May 22, 2018
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Novak, Wolverines stun reeling Spartans 61-57

EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Michigan made enough shots and stops to win at Michigan State.


Zack Novak scored 19 points and Stu Douglass made a big 3-pointer with 20 seconds left, lifting the Wolverines to a 61-57 victory over the 25th-ranked Spartans Thursday night.

Douglass' 3 from the right wing -- his only one in four attempts -- gave Michigan a five-point lead that essentially sealed the win. "He's made some big shots, but none like that," coach John Beilein said.

The Wolverines (12-9, 2-6 Big Ten) had lost six straight games this season and 11 in a row at the Breslin Center, dating to 1997. "I think I was in first grade or second grade," Novak said. "So it's just sweet."

It was a very sour experience for the slumping Spartans (12-8, 4-4), who are on their way to falling out of The Associated Press poll after being ranked No. 2 in the preseason.

"It's not a very good situation we're in," coach Tom Izzo said somberly. "We're not kidding anybody."

Michigan State's Kalin Lucas scored 27 points, Durrell Summers had 13 points and a season-high 10 rebounds, and Draymond Green, who fouled out, added nine points.

Darius Morris had 17 points and Tim Hardaway, Jr., scored 10 for the Wolverines, who made 10 of 21 3-pointers and grabbed as many rebounds as the bigger Spartans.

Michigan was outrebounded by Minnesota by 25 in its last game.

The Wolverines weren't stronger or more experienced than Michigan State, but seemed to have a greater sense of urgency to win more.

Michigan State is reeling on the court -- losing three straight -- and off it, losing a second player in five months.

Izzo dismissed junior guard Korie Lucious for the rest of the season Tuesday and guard Chris Allen wasn't welcomed back for his senior season for unspecified reasons.

The Wolverines, who had lost the previous four games in the series, won for just fourth time in 22 games against Michigan State.

Michigan, which led by as many as 10 points in the first half, went ahead by 14 shortly after halftime.

The Wolverines held off many Michigan State bursts and led 55-42 after Novak made his sixth 3-pointer with 7:17 left.

Freshman Keith Appling, who was 4 the last time Michigan won in East Lansing, made a 3-pointer to pull the Spartans within five with 4:41 to go.

Lucas scored five straight points to cut the deficit to two with just under 2 minutes left, but the Spartans couldn't get closer.

"We have a very happy locker room right now," Beilein said. "We sing the fight song after every win and that was a very sweet fight song we just sang."

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