Gophers men's basketball again fall at Michigan StateThe Gophers men’s basketball team did plenty of things right on Wednesday night against a top-10 opponent. But the goal — a victory in a venue where they hadn’t officially won in 20 years — eluded them again.
From the Minnesota Daily.com
EAST LANSING, Mich. — The Gophers men’s basketball team did plenty of things right on Wednesday night against a top-10 opponent. But the goal — a victory in a venue where they hadn’t officially won in 20 years — eluded them again.
Minnesota (12-5, 3-2 Big Ten) saw its brief first-half lead slip and its second-half rally fall short in a 60-53 loss to No. 7 Michigan State (14-3, 4-0) at the Breslin Center on Wednesday night.
The Gophers trailed 54-51 when they called a timeout to set up a play with 2:22 remaining. But they didn’t even manage a shot attempt after the Spartans deflected the ball across the half-court line and forced a shot-clock violation with 2:02 to play. That was one of three turnovers in Minnesota’s final five possessions, which also included only three shots.
They badly missed neutralized junior guard Blake Hoffarber, who scored only 4 points (none on three 3-point attempts) in 28 minutes just four days removed from a career-best 27-point outing.
His first-half layup gave the Gophers their last lead of the game, 21-20, with 4:36 to play before halftime.
The Gophers made 41 percent of their shots while holding the Spartans to a season-low 36 percent shooting.
Michigan State survived, however, because its bench scored 24 points in the first half. The Gophers bench managed just 3 points, the fewest by the Gophers in a game under Smith.
Spartans guard Durrell Summers scored 13 points, including 8 straight after Nix fell to the court with 5:34 remaining in the first half. In the second half, Spartans guard Kalin Lucas, the reigning All-Big Ten Player of the Year, scored 11 of his 14 points, including six free throws, which was more than Minnesota made as a team.