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Posted on Tue, Jan 26, 2010 : 11:19 p.m.

No. 5 Michigan State holds on to knock off Michigan basketball team, 57-56

By Michael Rothstein


Michigan State players celebrate on the floor at Crisler Arena after beating Michigan on Tuesday night. (Photo: Melanie Maxwell |

The tattoo near Kalin Lucas' left-hand thumb reads "Trust Few." At Michigan State, he's the one guy the Spartans can count on at the end of the game.

For the second straight game Tuesday, the junior guard lived up to his big-shot billing. 

The Big Ten Preseason Player of the Year caught the ball at the top of the key against Michigan, took one dribble and let the ball fly from just right of the free-throw line. The shot fell with 3.5 seconds left, quieting the Crisler Arena crowd and sending the No. 5 Spartans to a 57-56 win over the Wolverines.

“When it left my hand, it did feel pretty good,” Lucas said. “But I just squared up to the basket and it left my hand and it did feel good and it went in.”

It was the second time in four days Michigan State (18-3 overall, 8-0 Big Ten) needed a clutch shot from Lucas to remain unbeaten. He did it Saturday against Minnesota, burying a three-pointer to knock off the Gophers, 65-64. Then he did it again in Crisler, sending Michigan to its third straight loss against a Top 25 team.

The Wolverines had one last shot in a wild final minute. Senior forward DeShawn Sims was fouled near mid-court with 1.5 seconds left.

It set up an inbounds play drawn up almost perfectly - except the shot didn’t fall. Sophomore guard Stu Douglass threw a perfect lob to Sims, who led Michigan (10-10, 3-5) with 19 points.

Sims caught the ball over Michigan State guard Durrell Summers and lofted the ball in the air. It hit the backboard, front rim and bounced out as the buzzer sounded.

“That would have been a tough score,” Michigan coach John Beilein said. “Would have been a hell of a score.”

Initially, Michigan had been looking for junior guard Manny Harris - fresh off a one-game suspension for unsportsmanlike conduct in practice - for the final play. But Harris was covered so the play went to Sims.

“He was going to make a great play or he was going to miss it," Summers said. "Thank God he (missed).”

As Sims approached the pass - reading the ball like a wide receiver trying to grab a touchdown pass on a jump ball in the end zone - Summers appeared to tug on the right side of Sims' jersey. Arms flailed about.

Nothing was called. Sims said he was grabbed. But he said it was too late in the game for the foul to be called.

“Yeah, a little bit, but, you know, Big Ten,” Sims said. “Last play, if I was on the other team, I wouldn’t have wanted the call.”

Earlier, Sims had a chance to put Michigan ahead by two possessions. After MSU's Raymar Morgan hit a layup for the last of his game-high 20 points to cut the U-M lead to one, 56-55, Sims airballed a three-pointer attempt. 

The miss gave Michigan State a chance. Of course, Michigan State put the ball in the hands of Lucas, who sent Beilein to 0-3 against the Spartans with his jumper.

“My teammates, when they come down to the last shots, I think my teammates have a lot of confidence in me and the coaches do as well,” Lucas said. “They want me to make the big shot or the big play.”

He did - and he sent Michigan to yet another close loss. Because of the in-state rivalry and the fact they were within one point of knocking off the Big Ten leader, this one stings more than prior losses to Wisconsin and Purdue.

"It’s real disappointing. They’re a Final Four team, top-5 team right now and we was right there beating them," Harris said. "And we let it slip away, so it hurt a lot."

Michael Rothstein covers University of Michigan basketball for He can be reached at (734) 623-2558, by e-mail at or follow along on Twitter @mikerothstein.



Wed, Jan 27, 2010 : 2:09 p.m.

Well it appears the MSU trolls have come out in force today. Hard at work, must be the MSU degree keeping them busy throughout the day. CAN'T READ. CAN'T WRITE.


Wed, Jan 27, 2010 : 9:19 a.m.

CREDIBILITY, that is right. If you want some maybe you shouldnt cheat. i.e runing out the flop five as history


Wed, Jan 27, 2010 : 7:35 a.m.

This was a great game, yet still not the outcome I was looking for. On Manny kicking MSU on purpose. What a reach. MSU "rips through" with an elbow an it is unintentionable. Manny does it and he gets thrown out and suspended. Intentional fouls are not called at the end of the game to "let them play" and not influence the game. IZZO and MSU have built up so much "credibility" that it is rarely a 5 on 5 game anymore. That said, Lucas hit the shot when he had the opportunity and that was solid.


Wed, Jan 27, 2010 : 1:14 a.m.

Sparties only burn couches after big, important wins. Beating Michigan doesn't really rise to that level, does it.


Wed, Jan 27, 2010 : 1:12 a.m.

Or we could just go torch Justin's crib - - oh wait, I guess y'all already did that.


Wed, Jan 27, 2010 : 1:08 a.m.

Leave Tater alone.... He is a special kid who always ALWAYS has an excuse! Lets be real Tater JB recruits will never be tough enough for the Big Ten. Mr. Martin has turned our sports into a JOKE.

Jed I Knight

Wed, Jan 27, 2010 : 12:59 a.m.

Yes; its a good night to burn a couch in EL. Now what?


Wed, Jan 27, 2010 : 12:55 a.m.

Be happy with the "moral victories." It's the only kind you have.


Wed, Jan 27, 2010 : 12:39 a.m.

Stay classy Tater. As the losses pile up, that's your rep.


Tue, Jan 26, 2010 : 11:29 p.m.

Love that WVU coaching combo-Spartans are 5-0 against it. Does WVU have a hockey coach UM might want?


Tue, Jan 26, 2010 : 11:27 p.m.

I was at the game. One of the best in long long time. Tough loss. 2 airballs down the stretch and the miss by sims. These kids played a hell of a game, just not enough. Its fair to question Beileins recruiting. There is no point guard on this team to distribute to everybody. Every possession is a battle to get points, unless your making the 3. Honestly, Kelvin Grady would be the best point guard on this team and he's playing football. Step up the recruiting and we can play with anybody in this conference. GO BLUE!!


Tue, Jan 26, 2010 : 11:02 p.m.

We are far short in talent but outplayed them tonite given the talent gap. I liked our heart. We had lots of chances and could have won. I hated Manny kicking their star player in the head. No way can I buy that was accidental especially given his track record. We can't afford to be without him but do we have the next Ron Artest on our hands?


Tue, Jan 26, 2010 : 10:51 p.m.

You realy didnt think you were going to i said from day one um 7th in BIG TEN.


Tue, Jan 26, 2010 : 10:50 p.m.

I predicted a close game and actually a UM victory. Fortunately, I was wrong. Of course, I was just going by the point spread -- which was about MSU -4. I don't know why anyone expected a blowout. The expectation is that MSU would win by about 4. Sure, a blowout could've happened, but a team favored by 4 wins roughly 65% of the time. I UM win would not have been especially shocking. Just follow the dispassionate gamblers, people. The spread is always the best predictor of the outcome. On average, it is right.

Jed I Knight

Tue, Jan 26, 2010 : 10:42 p.m.

Michigan 33% from the floor. That sunk them.


Tue, Jan 26, 2010 : 10:22 p.m.

Brandon.. 4-16 (2 - 12 from three) shooting.. 14 points.. 5 assists.. 4 TOs.. in a combined 69 mins by Novak and Stu.. Not that great.


Tue, Jan 26, 2010 : 10:20 p.m.

I think it was so cute how MSU let UM think they still had a chance, right up to the last second. Helping them build some self-esteem was real nice.


Tue, Jan 26, 2010 : 10:06 p.m.

I grew up in a family that never stopped pounding on me about the dominance of UM sports. As a spartan fan, I have to bring it up. The record for number of consecutive days that one program had to go without a victory in the two major money market sports before their next chance to win has been extended now to 857. If msu wins on March 6, it will then grow to 1074. Only 21 days short of three years wihout a win for the AA crowd. God bless Martin.


Tue, Jan 26, 2010 : 10:03 p.m.

MichMich, No offense, but: I don't know if I want another year of Beilein recruits. Novak proved his 1 star rating tonight.. Stu Douglas and Morris were irrelevant. I am hope I am wrong but I dont see next years class filling the shoes of what is going to leave the program after this season. BTW.. I am tired of moral victories.

Brandon Angelini

Tue, Jan 26, 2010 : 10 p.m.

I'm proud of Michigan, and people should chill out. Novak and Douglas are great, and personally even though Douglas didn't get the points he was amazing through the game...He set everyone up, and had no turn dumb plays-That can't be said for your so called "Big 10 Caliber Players"

Jed I Knight

Tue, Jan 26, 2010 : 9:45 p.m.

Good game: Great outcome.


Tue, Jan 26, 2010 : 9:41 p.m.

For an unranked team to almost pull off an upset like that is impressive. Keep in mind this is the best team State has ever fielded. Yes, ever (they've never started 8-0 in the B10 before). That game could've gone either way. For me it's a good sign - we'll get there. Give Belein some time to get another year of recruits.


Tue, Jan 26, 2010 : 9:40 p.m.

Yes Sireeee. Closing that gap there, yes we are. Closing that gap, because this time it was only by a point!1 Yes sir. closing that gap.....


Tue, Jan 26, 2010 : 9:34 p.m.

I am proud the way we played.. Manny and Sims did a great job but it's a team game. They need more help. Stu, Novak, and Lucas Perry are not big ten caliber players. That was clearly displayed tonight. They were not good. Next year is going to be a disaster...(if we don't get Ziegler).


Tue, Jan 26, 2010 : 9:23 p.m.

MSU wins 9 out of 10 of these games and that's not going to change for the foreseeable future. MSU was not on their "A" game, but still able to win. That's what a top 5 team does - find a way to win even on an "off" night.

John Galt

Tue, Jan 26, 2010 : 9:17 p.m.

10-10 record does not inspire a NCAA bid. Good game, although MSU looked like they didn't much value possesion of the ball. Part of it was good pressure by UM defense--but not good enough. Last 20 game history is 17-3 in favor of MSU.


Tue, Jan 26, 2010 : 9:10 p.m.

Sometimes it's just like when you're playing your little brother in basketball You let him get a lead and let him get excited, but then you take it back from him.