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EAST LANSING, Mich. – Gary Harris scored 17 points and Derrick Nix had 14 to help No. 8 Michigan State rout No. 4 Michigan 75-52 on Tuesday night, the rivalry's first matchup of top 10 teams.
The Spartans (21-4, 10-2 Big Ten) broke a first-place tie in the conference with No. 1 Indiana, which plays at Michigan State next Tuesday.
The Wolverines (21-4, 8-4) have lost three of four, but the closely contested setbacks on the road against the Hoosiers and Wisconsin were nothing like the latest when they were held to a season-low point total.
Michigan State didn't trail once, led by as many as 16 points in the first half and enjoyed 30-point leads in the second half. The game was so lopsided that both coaches filled the court with reserves during the final minutes.
Trey Burke scored 18 points for the Wolverines and didn't get much help from his teammate offensively, or defensively.
Tim Hardaway Jr. was held scoreless until making a layup early in the second half and didn't score again. He was 1 of 11 from the field and scored a season-low two points. Glen Robinson III was 1 of 4 and scored two points to match his season low.
The Wolverines, who pride themselves on taking care of the basketball, had a season-high 16 turnovers and didn't have much success getting the ball away from the turnover-prone Spartans.
Everything went right for Michigan State, which had just eight turnovers and made 48-plus percent of its shots.
Harris scored from the outside, making five 3-pointers, and Nix had his way on the inside as part of a balanced offense.
Keith Appling had 11 points and Branden Dawson scored 10 before leaving the court late in the game because Michigan's Mitch McGary hit him in the face inadvertently with his right arm. Freshman Matt Costello scored a season-high eight points.
Michigan State has won two straight in the series after losing three in a row following a run of dominance for the Spartans.
The highly anticipated game drew Gov. Rick Snyder, Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford, Michigan State football coach Mark Dantonio, who mingled with Michigan football coach Brady Hoke, as they stood near ex-Wolverines football coach Lloyd Carr.
The white-clad fans in the stands were fired up before the game even started and they stayed enthusiastic, standing for much of the game, because the home team gave them plenty of reasons to cheer from start to finish.
In the first matchup of 20-win teams in Division I basketball this season, Michigan State showed it might not be a rebuilding this season.
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