EAST LANSING – Both freshman Manny Harris and sophomore DeShawn Sims would never dream of mentioning themselves in the same breath as Michael Jordan – especially after losing to a bitter rival.

But after his team held the budding stars to a combined 5-for-21 from the field, Michigan State coach Tom Izzo did it for them.

“We just wanted to give the Jordan treatment,” said Izzo of how he stopped the duo in the Spartans’ 77-62 win over Michigan Sunday. “To be honest with you, that’s what we do with great players that have the ability to shoot the three and have the ability to put it on the floor.”

Izzo knew the only way the Wolverines could muster an upset over his tenth-ranked Michigan State squad was if Harris duplicated his performance from last week – he exploded for a career-high 26 points in Michigan’s 64-61 loss to Wisconsin.

By applying constant pressure and having extra men focused on help defense, the Spartans eliminated Harris as a threat, holding him to just 11 points and three free-throw attempts.

Michigan State was intent on keeping Harris off the charity stripe. Much of his success this season is due to an ability to draw fouls penetrating to the basket.

Neither Harris nor Sims could do much of anything from the start in front of a near-capacity crowd at the Breslin Center. In the game’s opening minutes, both had clean looks from 3-point range, but both missed badly. Harris’s initial attempt was long, careening off the backboard and rim wildly.

Sims’s day began even worse. He didn’t even hit the basket, something the crowd didn’t let him forget quickly with constant “airball” chants throughout the first half. The Detroit native has struggled shooting the ball lately. Even in the encouraging loss to the Badgers, he shot a dismal 4-for-19 from the floor, scoring just 10 points.

Against Michigan State, Sims was a disappointing 1-for-7, collecting six points and never finding an offensive rhythm. Considering Sims and Harris are the Wolverines’ best scoring threats, it didn’t bode well for Michigan’s hopes in the game.

More sibling rivalry: With more than three minutes left in Sunday’s game, the two teams gathered for the last media timeout. The Spartan fans used the break to revel in the joy that comes from beating an intra-state rival.

Led by the Izzone, Michigan State’s basketball student section, the crowd erupted into a “little brother” chant, referring to the comments Mike Hart made about Michigan’s recent football dominance over the Spartans. Seconds later, a “little sister” chant arose.

Michigan coach John Beilein tried to distance himself from the situation, claiming he was unaware of the cheers.

“I don’t even hear it,” Beilein said. “I’ve done this enough that I really don’t get into those kind of things.”

If he wanted to feed into the rivalry, he could have reminded the Spartans of Michigan’s 91-71 lead in the all-time series between the two schools.

Injury update: Senior Ron Coleman was back in the lineup Sunday and said his ankle was 100 percent.

He subbed in at the first media timeout of the game and hit a 3-pointer two minutes later.

It was his only field goal in 16 minutes of play. He also grabbed two rebounds.

Coleman suffered a sprained ankle in the second half against Indiana on Jan. 8. He sat out for the next two games, against Northwestern and Wisconsin, and played sparingly against Iowa and Illinois.

Junior Jevohn Shepherd has started five straight games in his place.

Mark Giannotto and Ian Robinson
Daily Sports Writers

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