Michigan State Beats Minnesota 70-52

In the words of one informed observer of Sunday’s game between Michigan State (15-5) and Minnesota (11-9), the shots were going up, but they weren’t going in.

Both the Spartans and the Gophers got off to a shaky start in the first half of yesterday’s Big Ten match.  The first minutes were more confusion than basketball, with many missed shots on both sides.  Minnesota missed 19 of 23 field goal attempts, and 12 of 13 three-pointers.  Michigan State didn’t look much better.

The Gophers briefly took the lead at 15:37 when Marcus Carr made a three-pointer jumper, putting the score at 2-5.  Aaron Henry helped the Spartans retake the lead at 11:22 (10-7), and Minnesota trailed for the rest of the game.

Worse, Minnesota put up nothing but dead air for over five minutes.

Michigan State went on a 12-point scoring run that left Minnesota in the dust with the score at 22-9 at 5:33 in the first half.  But the Spartans have a habit of having solid leads be steadily chipped away.  This was also the case against Minnesota. 

Gophers Gabe Kalscheur, Daniel Oturu, and Tre’Williams brought their team to within 8 points (30-22) of the Spartans at the end of the first half with two three-pointers, a free throw, and a jumper.

Is Tom Izzo prescribed blood pressure medication?  If he isn’t, he should be.

Michigan State held Minnesota firmly down during the second half.  The Gophers came to within 8 points of the Spartans but lost by 18 in the final minutes of the second half. 

The Gophers put up only 28.1% of their field goals, and only 17.9% of their three-point shooting.  Michigan State made 47.3% of their field goals and 41.2% of their three-point shooting.  Both teams had eleven total turnovers.

Cassius Winston and Daniel Oturu led their teams with 18 and 19 points scored respectively.  Xavier Tillman scored 17 points and Henry Watts 10 points.

Michigan State’s victory comes after a disappointing late loss Indiana (67-63). 

The Spartans take on Northwestern (6-13) next on Wednesday, January 29.

Photo courtesy of WILX.