No. 6 Michigan State Vs. Minnesota: Spartans Win Battle With Gophers, 66-61

FEB 22, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Michigan State Spartans forward Draymond Green (23) looks to pass in the second half against Minnesota Gophers at University of Minnesota Williams Arena. Mandatory Credit: Marilyn Indahl-US PRESSWIRE

A tough Minnesota Gophers squad came within minutes of defeating the Big Ten-leading Michigan St. Spartans. However, failure to come up with a shot ruined those chances.

The Michigan St. Spartans escaped the jaws of defeat Wednesday night by using a 14-3 run to defeat the Minnesota Golden Gophers, 66-61. With 3:25 left on the clock, Minnesota held a 58-56 lead and couldn't do anything with the ball. Andre Hollins hit a three with a little less than two seconds left in the game to at least end the scoring drought -- for whatever comfort that provided.

Draymond Green played 39 minutes in the game, leading the Spartans with 17 points, five rebounds, five assists and four steals. Keith Appling and Brandon Wood each chipped in 13 points.

The other Hollins on the Minnesota team, Austin, led the team with 17 points. While Julian Welch and Rodney Williams each scored 10 points, no one was willing to take a big shot down the stretch, as The Daily Gopher notes:

The announcers nailed it when they said how the Gophers have nobody willing or desiring to take the a [sic] big shot. For three minutes we passed the ball around and then we would turn it over.

Minnesota is now on a four-game losing streak and must play its next two games against ranked teams: the Indiana Hoosiers and the Wisconsin Badgers.

Michigan State remains atop the Big Ten standings and will host the Nebraska Cornhuskers on Saturday.

For more on these teams, visit Michigan State blog The Only Colors and Minnesota Blog The Daily Gopher. To keep up with the coming March Madness, check out SB Nation NCAA Basketball.

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