Cassius Winston was the heartbeat, tactician and muscle of No. 10 MIchigan State's 77-70 win over No. 7 Michigan in Ann Arbor on Sunday.
The junior guard out of Detroit came alive in the second half and finished with a game-high 27 points and eight assists, Kenny Goins had 16 and pulled down 11 rebounds, Xavier Tillman scored 14 and Matt McQuaid 13 for Michigan State (23-5, 14-3 B1G).
The Wolverines were done in by two dismal stretches from the field in the second half — both times, going over five minutes without a basket — and poor outside shooting, as Michigan finished 7-for-26 from 3-point land.
Zavier Simpson led Michigan scorers with 19, Ignas Brazdeikis 16 and Jordan Poole 15.
Late surge can't get Wolverines back in game
Ignas Brazdeikis immediately gets a bucket at the rim after the media timeout.
Matt McQuaid is fouled by Jordan Poole while fighting for a rebound after Kenny Goins misses from 3. Poole is once again being talked to by the referee at the line. McQuaid makes one of two, and it's 67-60.
Poole takes an errant 3-point attempt that clanks off the rim. Cassius Winston gets a one-and-one after being fouled by Brazdeikis.
Brazdeikis misses from 3 on the other end, and after Aaron Henry misses a shot for the Spartans, Charles Matthews misses the rim completely with a 3-pointer.
"Go, green, go white" chants are taking over Crisler.
After Cassius Winston makes a free throw, the Wolverines storm back the other way. Simpson converted a layup, and then, after McQuaid turned it over, Poole hit from 3 to make it a 5-point game.
Winston is fouled immediately after handling the ensuing inbound pass. That's four fouls for Poole. Winston makes both free throws.
Poole comes right back the other way and drills another 3-pointer, making it 72-68 with 30 seconds to go. Winston goes right back to the free throw line and hits both again.
Poole can't make his third in a row, and two more free throws from Winston will all but put this one away, as the Spartans have a 76-68 lead with 20 seconds to go.
More free throws ensue.
Michigan State 77, Michigan 70 (FINAL)
Michigan State takes largest lead of game late in second half
Xavier Tillman filling the void of Nick Ward nicely, filling up the rim with a layup to make it 58-55, Michigan State after the media timeout.
Michigan State is now at the bonus. Aaron Henry will shoot one-and-one. The official is now speaking to Jordan Poole and Cassius Winston. It appears that Poole may have had some trash talk for Henry. Henry converts both, making it 60-55.
Michigan's poor stretch from beyond the arc continues. Ignas Brazdeikis misses from 3, and Winston gives the Wolverine defense the ol' right there Fred with a finish at the rim.
Jon Teske breaks a Wolverine scoreless streak of over five minutes — the second time that's occurred for Michigan in the half — with a layup that makes it 62-57.
Tillman silences the crowd quickly, throwing down a dunk that brings the Spartan lead back to 7 points.
Simpson makes the front end of a one-and-one. 64-58 Spartans.
McQuaid gets the bounce of a lifetime on a midrange jumper, which gives Michigan State an 8-point lead. Brazdeikis is stuffed at the rim by Thomas Kithier at the other end, and Michigan will go into the final media timeout with its largest deficit of the game.
Michigan has now missed eight of its last nine field goals.
Michigan State 66, Michigan 58 (3:16 2nd)
Cold Wolverine shooting helps Spartans pick up slight edge
Matt McQuaid hits all three free throws, giving the Spartans a 52-51 lead. Charles Matthews and Eli Brooks each miss a shot on Michigan's next possession, making the Wolverines 0 for its last 7.
Michigan gets a stop on the other end, though, and Zavier Simpson snaps a scoring streak longer than five minutes with a layup to make it 53-52. Cassius Winston puts the Spartans back out front with a layup of his own on the next possession.
Kenny Goins drills a jumper after the Spartans get a stop to give Michigan State a 3-point lead.
Both teams are 0-for-5 from 3-point range in the half.
Matthews will go to the line after drawing a foul on McQuaid. He hits both, making it 56-55, Michigan State.
Michigan State 56, Michigan 55 (8:20 2nd)
Michigan State clawing back with stellar 'D'
Cassius Winston dishes it to Xavier Tillman who lays it in to pull the Spartans within 4.
Michigan State picks up its seventh foul of the game with Charles Tillman's foul on Ignas Brazdeikis. He'll shoot a one-and-one, but misses the first.
Matt McQuaid isolates the Michigan defenses and kicks it to a wide-open Thomas Kithier down low, where freshman out of Clarkston hits his first bucket of the game.
After Jordan Poole misses a 3-pointer, Michigan State keeps a possession alive with a nice hustle play by Kenny Goins to avoid a backcourt violation, and eventually, McQuaid is fouled on a 3-point attempt. He'll take his free throws after a media timeout.
Michigan 51, Michigan State 49 (11:47 2nd)
Michigan picking up momentum in second half
Michigan gets the first possession of the second half. After spreading the ball around, Ignas Brazdeikis draws a foul while going to the rim. He makes both free throws to tie things up, 39-39.
Cassius Winston receives a feed while speeding toward the basket and drops a beautiful floater that gets nothing but nylon. Jordan Poole answers with a layup at the other end.
Brazdeikis is fouled on a 3-point shot, and will go to the line, where he drills all three to give Michigan a 44-41 lead.
Winston hits a pair of free throws to make it 44-43.
Zavier Simpson runs a give-and-go with Poole and gets fouled on his way to the rim, hitting both shots to give Michigan a 46-43 lead.
Tom Izzo reads Matt McQuaid the riot act after the senior Spartan guard commits an off-ball foul. While things get heated at the Michigan State bench, Brazdeikis fires up the crowd at Crisler.
After Michigan State gets a stop, Winston gets to the hole and coverts a layup to make it a 1-point game.
Poole gets fancy with the handles and hits a layup that earns him an and-1 opportunity. A converted free throw makes it 49-45.
Xavier Tillman can't make a short shot fall; Michigan heads the other way, and Brazdeikis ignites Crisler even further by driving from the baseline and throwing down a two-handed dunk.
Michigan 51, Michigan State 45 (15:32 2nd)
First half leaders
MSU - Kenny Goins: 13 pts.
UM - Zavier Simpson: 10 pts.
MSU - Kyle Ahrens: 3 rebs.
UM - Ignas Brazdeikis: 6 rebs.
MSU - Cassius Winston: 5 asts.
UM - Jordan Poole: 2 asts.
Michigan State takes 2-point lead into half
Jordan Poole hits both free throws to tie things up, 34-34.
Jon Teske is fouled inside and will go to the line to shoot two. He converts on one.
Matt McQuaid sends Poole to the deck silences the crowd by drilling a 3-point shot.
Xavier Tillman hits two free throws on Michigan State's next possession to extend the Spartans' lead to 39-35.
Charles Matthews goes to the free-throw line and makes one of two.
Michigan elects to call a timeout with about 14 seconds remaining in the half.
Zavier Simpson is unable to help the Wolverines draw even with Michigan State before halftime, missing a sky hook as time runs out.
Michigan State 39, Michigan 37 (End 1st)
Goins' efficient shooting helps Michigan State hold on to tight lead
Injury alert: Charles Matthews is in Michigan's locker room having his ankle taped but is expected to return to the game, per CBS.
Kyle Ahrens hits one of two shots from the free-throw line.
Xavier Tillman has a look inside courtesy of Cassius Winston, and converts to give Michigan State a 30-28 lead.
Zavier Simpson storms up the court with numbers, switches up the pace on Michigan State's defense and drives to the hole for a layup that'll tie things up once again.
Injury update: Charles Matthews has returned to the game for Michigan.
Iggy Brazdeikis is stripped by Winston, and Winston heads up the court with nobody in front of him, putting up an easy layup to give Michigan State a 32-30 lead.
Matthews' ankle is just fine, apparently. He throws some nice moves to get to the hole and lay in a shot. Kenny Goins hits a layup on the other end, the last bucket before another media timeout.
Jordan Poole will shoot two free throws after the break.
Michigan State 34, Michigan 32 (3:19 1st)
Both Michigan, Michigan State heating up from 3-point land
Cassius Winston hits both free throws to give Michigan State a 5-point lead.
Zavier Simpson hits his first 3-point shot of the game, but Winston comes back the other way with force to put in another layup.
Eli Brooks takes a questionable 3-point attempt for the Wolverines, and Goins drills a 3-point shot at the other end to put the Spartans up, 27-20.
Simpson hits another 3-pointer, and after Jon Teske steals the ball from Winston, Jordan Poole converts on a fast-break opportunity to make it 27-25, Michigan State.
Ignas Brazdeikis throws a nasty crossover and takes a step-back 3-pointer that hits the bottom of the net and ignites the Crisler crowd. Michigan with a 28-27 lead.
Kyle Ahrens forces a blocking foul on David DeJulius, and will shot two free throws after the break.
Michigan 28, Michigan State 27 (7:50 1st)
Winston puts pop into Spartan offense
Michigan returns from the media timeout with a five-second violation. Spartans will get the ball.
Xavier Tillman backs his way inside and gets a shot up over Jon Teske to tie the game, but Teske gets the last laugh with a bucket at the other end.
Matt McQuaid nails a 3-pointer to give Michigan State the lead. Zavier Simpson gets it back for Michigan with a sky hook on the next possession.
Isaiah Livers and Kenny Goins trade 3-pointers, making it 17-16, Michigan.
Cassius Winston picks up his first points of the game with a floater in the paint.
Goins converts a layup, and after a stop by the Spartans, Winston is fouled while driving for a shot. He'll shoot two free throws after the commercial break.
Michigan State 20, Michigan 17 (11:37 1st)
3-point shooting gives Michigan slight edge early
Each team puts up a missed 3-pointer to start the game, but Matt McQuaid draws a shooting foul. He makes only one from the stripe, giving the Spartans a 1-0 lead.
Jon Teske puts back a missed Zavier Simpson hook shot and converts an and-1 to get Michigan on the board.
Kenny Goins drains a 3, then Isaiah Livers answers with a 3-pointer of his own from the corner, making it 6-4, Michigan.
Xavier Tillman's emphatic dunk is the last bucket before the game's first media timeout, drawing the Spartans within 2.
Michigan 10, Michigan State 8 (15:56 1st)
Michigan vs. Michigan State has finally arrived. Sunday’s showdown at the Crisler Center is for first place in the Big Ten, but there are valuable seeding implications at stake, as well, for the Big Ten tournament and NCAA Tournament. You can follow the action throughout the game with live updates by Nolan Bianchi of The Detroit News.
MICHIGAN VS. MICHIGAN STATE
Tip-off: 3:45 p.m. Sunday, Crisler Center, Ann Arbor
TV / radio: CBS / 950, 760
Records: No. 7 Michigan 24-3, 13-3 Big Ten; No. 10 Michigan State 22-5, 13-3