ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN — Michigan State and Michigan have the rest of eternity to be rivals in any sporting venue. On Saturday evening, the Spartans and Wolverines men’s basketball teams, as well as their fans, came together in the sporting arena to be part of the healing process after another incident of gun violence shook the East Lansing community, a shooting inside of Michigan State University that killed three students and wounded five others earlier this week.
Before the start of the basketball game at Crisler Center, both teams wore warmup shirts in support of the victims and the East Lansing community, with Michigan State’s players wearing white tops with “Spartan Strong” across the chest, while Michigan’s maize shirts contained the message “Michigan Basketball Stands with MSU,” with the Spartan logo on the “A” in “Michigan.” The Michigan student section unfurled a green “Spartan Strong” banner, the many students holding a placard up with the same message.
After a long moment of silence to honor the victims, the Michigan band played the Michigan State University fight song.
There was the matter of the basketball game, a contest that the Wolverines won 84-72, ending the game scoring the game’s final 12 points. Kobe Bufkin hit a three-pointer with 1:56 remaining in the contes to break a 72-all deadlock. Hunter Dickinson followed up with a three on the next possession to give the Wolverines breathing room down the stretch.
Earlier today, funerals were held for two of the slain students, Brian Fraser and Alexandria Verner, in East Lansing. Arielle Anderson’s funeral is scheduled for next week. Of the five wounded students, four remained in critical condition with one in stable condition on Saturday.
*Editor’s note: Above the byline is the photo gallery from Saturday evening’s game, with all photos taken by Detroit-area photographer Aaron J. Thornton. After clicking on the first photo to enlarge the picture, make sure to press the left and right arrow buttons to scroll through the rest of the pictures. There are 20 pictures in total.