No. 7 Michigan State Uses Defense To Beat Minnesota

Read more at our Spartan blog, The Only Colors, and our Golden Gopher blog, The Daily Gopher.

East Lansing, MI (Sports Network) - Kalin Lucas had a team-high 14 points, as seventh-ranked Michigan State held off Minnesota, 60-53, in a defensive struggle at the Breslin Center.

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.

Lawrence Westbrook had 15 points and Damian Johnson 14 for the Golden Gophers (12-5, 3-2), who have lost two of three.

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.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.