ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Naz Hillmon had 28 points and eight rebounds in her final home game, lifting No. 6 Michigan to a 62-51 win over Michigan State on Thursday night.
The Wolverines (22-4, 13-3 Big Ten) pulled away with a 10-0 run to open the fourth quarter.
Michigan can clinch its first Big Ten title in women’s basketball if closes the regular season with a win on the road against No. 21 Iowa.
The Spartans (14-13, 8-8) led by nine points early in the game, but could not sustain success to pull off a second straight upset against their rivals.
Michigan State’s Nia Clouden scored 22 points and freshman DeeDee Hagemann had eight points in the first quarter, 13 points at halftime but was held scoreless in the second half.
Hillmon, a senior forward, was her team’s only double-digit scorer. She had 27 points and nine rebounds in the loss at Michigan State earlier this month, when the Wolverines had an eight-game winning streak snapped.
The Spartans started strong in the rematch, leading 14-5 late in the first quarter.
Hillmon kept the Wolverines in the game, scoring six of their seven points in the opening quarter. She had 17 of the team’s 20 points midway through the second quarter.
When her teammates started to help offensively, Michigan took its first lead 28-26 on Maddie Nolan’s 3-pointer with 3:48 left in the first half.
Michigan State stayed competitive through the third quarter, trailing by just four points, before fading away in the fourth.
Michigan State: Hosts No. 17 Ohio State on Sunday.
Michigan: Plays the 21st-ranked Hawkeyes on the road Sunday with the Big Ten title at stake.