Durrell Summers added 13 points and eight rebounds for the Spartans (14-3, 4-0 Big Ten), who have won five in a row. Chris Allen had seven points, six rebounds and five assists, and was critical down the stretch for Michigan State.
The Spartans shot just over 36 percent, including a 3-of-14 performance by Lucas, but had a big advantage at the free throw line. They made 13-of-21 overall -- Lucas went 6-for-6 -- while Minnesota was 5-of-7.
Minnesota made 40.7 percent of its field goals and closed within a possession down the stretch. A six-point run, which Johnson capped with a fastbreak dunk with 5:10 to play, got the Gophers within 51-49.
A minute later, Allen drained a three, and after more missed shots by both teams, a tip-in by Ralph Sampson III made it a 54-51 game. However, a called jump ball led to a Michigan State possession, and Allen got a short floater in the lane to fall through, putting the Spartans up by five with 1:31 to go.
Westbrook turned the ball over on the Gophers' next possession, but got new life when Draymond Green missed the front end of a 1-and-1. But Green atoned for the miss at the other end, as he blocked Paul Carter's layup attempt with just under a minute left. Lucas made four free throws in the remaining time to ensure the victory.
The teams traded the lead in the first half, but Michigan State scored the final five points to take a 33-25 edge into the intermission. Summers scored 12 points in the opening 20 minutes.
The Spartans have won 12 of the last 14 meetings...Michigan State improved to 10-2 against Tubby Smith-coached teams...Minnesota, which entered the game ranked sixth in the nation in both turnover margin and steals, had 15 turnovers (to MSU's 10) and four steals.