Michigan State-Minnesota: Spartans Down Gophers 64-56

Giants27Analyst IMarch 13, 2009

The Michigan State Spartans advanced to the semifinals of the Big Ten tournament today with a win over the Minnesota Golden Gophers.

No. 7 Michigan State was led by Chris Allen, who put up 17 points off the bench.

Now 26-5, the Spartans increased their hopes for a No. 1 seed in the upcoming NCAA Tournament but will have to beat the winner of the Ohio State-Wisconsin game before thinking number one.

Kalin Lucas, who was Big Ten player of the year, added 12 points and three assists, while Marquise Gray had 11 points.

The Gophers were led by Damian Johnson, who put up 19 points and grabbed four rebounds.

Minnesota rallied towards the end after hitting a pair of free throws to trip Michigan State's lead to 58-46. Colton Iverson then made a layup and Paul Carter added a three-pointer.

Johnson then scooped up a turnover by Lucas and made a layup to bring the Gophers within five, 58-53.

But Michigan State hit six free throws late to secure the win.

Early in the second half, the Spartans took control of the game. Raymar Morgan opened the half with an alley-oop, and Goran Suton made two close-up baskets.

On their next possession, Spartans guard Travis Walton ran up the court and threw the ball to Durrell Summers, who threw in a one-handed dunk.

Devron Bostick of Minnesota hit a jumper, and then a dunk by Johnson made the score 46-40 with 10:25 to go.

But after that it took the Gophers another six minutes to make a bucket, which allowed Michigan State to make the lead double digits.

Johnson finally made a three, making the game 54-46 with 4:47 left.

But the Spartans held the Gophers down until Iverson hit a layup.