ANN ARBOR — The fear for a road team in games like this is that the home side will have one of those feel-good emotional afternoons, when 3s fall from everywhere, the crowd ignites and nothing goes write for the visitor.
The good news for MSU is that hasn’t happened. Behind Adreian Payne (12 points), Gary Harris (seven) and Travis Trice (six), the Spartans how outplayed — or at least out-shot — the Wolverines, leading 31-28 at the break.
Michigan, meanwhile, is 0-for-6 from 3. Some of that is superb MSU perimeter defense. Michigan isn’t getting many good looks from outside.
However, MSU is having trouble establishing the post with Derrick Nix, who’s been defended well and has five turnovers. U-M is bound to connect on a few more shots in the second half. MSU needs Nix to be effective to keep the game on its current path.
But, to this point, MSU has been in control, however slightly, throughout, helped by a 22-12 rebounding edge. That’s far better than the alternative for the Spartans.
More after the game.