Minneapolis, MN (Sports Network) - Kalin Lucas scored a game-high 18 points as he led the Michigan State Spartans to a 53-48 win over the Minnesota Golden Gophers in a Big Ten Conference battle at Williams Arena.
Lucas finished the night shooting 7-of-16 from the floor for the Spartans (16-11, 8-7 Big Ten) as they won their second in a row and the third in four tries. Draymond Green checked in with seven points, 10 rebounds and four steals for the visitors as well.
The Golden Gophers (17-10, 6-9) were paced by Trevor Mbakwe who recorded a double-double with 13 points and 10 boards, yet he shot just 4-of-12 from the floor as the team fell for the second straight game and the sixth in seven attempts. Chip Armelin contributed 12 points off the bench and Ralph Sampson 10 points and seven boards.
Both teams made a total of just eight field goals in the first half, but thanks to a 4-of-9 effort at the free-throw line in the period the Gophers were able to pull out to a 21-19 lead at the break.
In the second half the squads again matched each other with 10 field goals, but it was 11-of-15 at the charity stripe that put MSU over the top in the five-point decision.
The Spartans picked up the critical win despite converting a woeful 6-of-24 behind the three-point line.