Monday, March 04, 2013

Michigan's Trey Burke Makes Key Plays in Win over Spartans

College Hoops Player of the Day for Sunday, March 3, 2013

After losing at Penn State on Wednesday, the Michigan Wolverines knew they'd need a much better, more focused effort to defeat #4 Michigan State when the Spartans came calling Sunday afternoon in Ann Arbor.

Trailing by three at the half, Trey Burke and his Michigan teammates surged to a ten-=point lead with just over four minutes left to play, but saw the Spartans knaw into the lead and eventually tie the game at 56-all. Michigan State had the ball with the shot clock off and a chance to win when Burke came up with the play of the game - and maybe the season - stealing the rock from Spartan point guard Keith Appling at mid-court and taking it in for a go-ahead dunk with 22 seconds left.

Derrick Nix made one of two free throws with 8.8 seconds left to make it 58-57, and, after Mitch McGary missed the front end of a one-and-one, the spartans still had life with 4.7 seconds. As the Spartans tried to get a look, Burke again stole a pass as the clock went to all zeroes, the game over, victory assured, the final: 58-57.

A leader all season long, Burke ended with a game-high 21 points, eight assists, five steals four rebounds and a blocked shot.

The result left four teams in the Big Ten - Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State and Wisconsin (a 69-56 loser to Purdue Sunday) - tied for second place at 11-5. They are all chasing 13-3 Indiana. The Hoosiers have their final two games Tuesday and Sunday, when they meet the Buckeyes at home and head out on the road to finish up at Michigan.

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