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Friday, October 24, 2014 | Last updated: 9:37am


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MSU leading Michigan at halftime




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Sophomore guard Gary Harris attempts a point over Michigan guard Derrick Walton Jr. on March 16, 2014, during the final against Michigan at the Big 10 Championship at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. The Spartans won, 69-55. Erin Hampton/The State News



Yesterday after the game, junior guard Travis Trice made it clear this team is trying to give the sophomores a ring.

Well, sophomore guard Gary Harris is trying to give himself a rock, as his 13 points have helped MSU take a 38-29 halftime lead over Michigan in the Big Ten Tournament final.

MSU is dominating the rebounding game, as freshman forward Gavin Schilling and senior forward Adreian Payne each have four boards to give the Spartans a 20-11 advantage.

MSU’s defense has held Michigan to 31.8 percent shooting, but Wolverine guard Nik Stauskus has filled up the hoop for 13 points.

The Wolverines opened up with back-to-back 3-pointers by Nik Stauskus and Derrick Walton Jr. to take a 6-2 lead. Walton later hit an and-1 opportunity to go up 9-4, but that is when MSU turned on the jets and let the Green and White crowd make their presence felt.

Starting with an and-1 layup by Branden Dawson, MSU went on a 12-0 run to take a 16-9 lead. The run was highlighted with a Harris 3-ball followed with fastbreak dunk after picking Staustas’ pocket to cap off the run.

The next Spartan statement was made at the 9:16 mark, when senior guard Keith Appling scored his first points on a floater. Michigan head coach John Beilein thought Appling pushed off a little too hard, but he argued a little too much and was called for a technical foul. Junior guard Travis Trice hit both of MSU’s free throws to take a 25-14 lead.

On Michigan's next possession, Stauskas buried a 3-pointer and got fouled, cutting MSU’s lead to 25-18 after converting his free throw.

A key moment of the half came instantly, as Wolverine big men Jon Horford and Jordan Morgan were whistled for a foul within the first1:15 of the half. Horford committed his second foul of the half at the 18:24 mark, sidelining him with foul trouble for the better part of the half.

Morgan also drew his second foul with more than nine minutes to play.

MSU has two in foul trouble, as Branden Dawson and Alvin Ellis III both have two fouls to their name.

The Spartans are 20 minutes away from earning their second Big Ten Tournament title in three years. However, MSU has led in both their games against UM this year, and the Wolverines came back to take a 2-0 advantage on the season.


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