The Minnesota Golden Gophers led throughout most of the second half, but a 3:25 scoring drought in the closing minutes of the game allowed the Michigan State Spartans to eek out a 66-61 win on the road. The Gophers committed four turnovers during their rough patch, during what had been an otherwise efficient night.
Minnesota shot 45.7 percent from the field and 14-for-15 from the free throw line, but perhaps more impressively they outrebounded a squad that averages nearly 40 boards per game, 31-22, on Wednesday night. Draymond Green started hot for the Spartans, going 4-for-6 from behind the 3-point arc in the first half. He was held to just 1-for-8 from the floor in the second half, however, but still managed 17 points, five rebounds, five assists, and four steals.
Turnovers were the biggest culprit in the Gophers loss. After turning the ball over just three times in the first half, they handed the ball back 12 times in the second. Julian Welch seemed to handle the pressure well in the first half, but broke down some in the second. He still finished with 10 points and eight assists, however. Austin Hollins led the way with 17 points, going 4-for-6 from behind the arc.
The loss was a devastating one for the Gophers, who now find themselves slipping off the NCAA Tournament bubble at 17-11 and in search of another signature win. The Spartans have now won six in a row, making a strong case for a No. 1 seed.
|Final - 2.22.2012||1||2||Total|
|Michigan St. Spartans||31||35||66|
|Minnesota Golden Gophers||30||31||61|
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