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Winston-led No. 14 Michigan State tops No. 12 Michigan 87-69

Spartans improve to 4-0 in Big Ten play

Cassius Winston #5 of the Michigan State Spartans drives the basket past Brandon Johns Jr. #23 of the Michigan Wolverines. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Cassius Winston #5 of the Michigan State Spartans drives the basket past Brandon Johns Jr. #23 of the Michigan Wolverines. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) (Getty)

EAST LANSING – Cassius Winston scored a career-high 32 points and Xavier Tillman fell one point short of his career high with 20, leading No. 14 Michigan State to a 87-69 victory over No. 12 Michigan on Sunday.

The Spartans (12-3, 4-0 Big Ten) were ahead the entire game, leading by as many as 13 points in the first half and earning a bigger cushion in the second, to beat their rivals for a fourth consecutive time.

Michigan State has won seven straight and is the only Big Ten team without a conference loss.

The Wolverines (10-4, 1-2) have lost four of their last seven games after starting 7-0 and going from unranked to No. 4 under first-year coach Juwan Howard.

The former Fab Five star faced Michigan State for the first time as a coach after going 5-1 in the series as a player.

Howard became unhinged after not getting a call he wanted in the second half. He was called for a technical early in the half after leaving the sideline and going onto the court in protest.

Shortly thereafter, Michigan State coach Tom Izzo was also called for a technical foul in the highly charged game.

The Wolverines were missing forward Isaiah Livers, who was out for a second straight game with a groin injury. Livers is averaging 13.6 points per game and is the team's top 3-point shooter.

Brandon Johns replaced Livers in the starting lineup and matched a career high with 12 points.

Michigan center Jon Teske fouled out after scoring four of his 15 points in the second half. Zavier Simpson had 14 points and eight assists while Franz Wagner added 10 points for the Wolverines.

Winston and Tillman did more than just score. Winston had nine assists and Tillman had 11 rebounds.

BIG PICTURE

Michigan: Howard and the Wolverines can learn a lot from the experience of playing on the road in front of a rowdy crowd.

Michigan State: After plummeting from being ranked No. 1 in the preseason, the Spartans are getting in a groove with their two best players — Winston and Tillman — leading the way.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

The Spartans may jump back into the top 10 and the Wolverines will fall in the AP Top 25 on Monday.

UP NEXT

Illinois: Hosts Purdue on Thursday night.

Michigan State: Hosts Minnesota on Thursday night.

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Follow Larry Lage at https://twitter.com/LarryLage

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More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25