#8 Michigan State Spartans 74-58 OverMinnesota Golden Gophers Game Thread
Hondo S. Carpenter
East Lansing, MI
The #8 Michigan State Spartans return to action tonight, January 9, 2020, at the Breslin Center against Minnesota. That game can be seen on ESPN at 9:00 PM.
The Spartans open Big Ten play 4-0. They are winning conference games by a 14 point margin on average.
Tonight they will be without wingman Kyle Ahrens. He is sidelined with an ankle injury.
Here are some key things to watch for in tonight’s game courtesy of MSU super basketball SID Mex Carey”
1. Series History Thursday’s game will be the 132nd meeting all-time between Michigan State and Minnesota ... Michigan State leads the all-time series with Minnesota, 71-60 ...The Spartans are 43-20 at home and are 32-8 in their last 40 games against the Golden Gophers ... Michigan State is 16-1 in its last 17 games at home against Minnesota.
2. Last Meeting with Minnesota Cassius Winston scored seven-straight points during a key second half run as No. 2 seed Michigan State beat No. 10 seed Minnesota, 70-50, in the second round of the NCAA Tournament at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa on March 23 ... Michigan State advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament for the 20th time in program history and for the 14th time under Head Coach Tom Izzo ... Winston finished with 13 points and nine assists, while Xavier Tillman led the Spartans with 14 points and had six rebounds ... Four other players scored nine points apiece ... Freshman forward Aaron Henry added nine points and nine rebounds, redshirt senior forward Kenny Goins tallied nine points, eight rebounds, two assists and two blocks, senior guard Matt McQuaid chipped in nine points and four rebounds and junior forward Nick Ward finished with nine points and seven rebounds.
3. About the Spartans Senior guard Cassius Winston leads MSU, and ranks third in the Big Ten, in scoring, averaging 18.9 points per game … Winston is also fourth in the league in assists, averaging 6.3 per game, and first in free throw percentage, connecting on 84.6 percent of his shots (55-of-65) ... Junior forward Xavier Tillman is second on the team withwho s 13.9 pointichigans per game (13th in the Big Ten) and tops the team, and is fourth in the Big Ten, with 9.8 rebounds per game, while adding 2.9 assists per game ... Sophomore forward Aaron Henry, cored a season-high 18 points against Virginia Tech and matched a career-best with six assists against Eastern M, is third on the team with 10.2 points per game, while adding 4.4 rebounds and 3.0 assists ... MSU has four other players averaging at least 5.0 points per game, led by sophomore forward Gabe Brown, who is averaging 8.7 points and 4.6 rebounds ... Freshman guard Rocket Watts adds 6.8 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.3 assists ...Sophomore forward Marcus Bingham Jr., who has started the last 10 games and collected career high’s in rebounds (12) and blocks (5) against Illinois on Jan. 2, is averaging 5.1 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.7 blocks ... Freshman forward Malik Hall, who had nine points and eight rebounds against Duke, is averaging 5.1 points and 3.1 rebounds.
4. Winston’s Career High 32 Points Lead No. 14 Michigan State Past No. 12 Michigan, 87-69 Senior guard Cassius Winston scored a career-high 32 points and handed out nine assists and No. 14 Michigan State led from start to finish in an 87-69 win over No. 12 Michigan at the Breslin Center on Sunday afternoon ... Junior forward Xavier Tillman added 20 points, 11 rebounds and a career-high six blocked shots, while six other Spartans scored at least six points, including sophomore forward Aaron Henry, who had six points, eight rebounds and two blocks and sophomore forward Gabe Brown added six points and six rebounds.
5. Winston Approaching All-Time Assist Record, Nearing Top-10 at MSU in Scoring Senior guard Cassius Winston entered the 2019-20 season with 714 career assists and needed 103 more to pass Mateen Cleaves for the most in school history ... He now has 802 and needs 15 to pass Cleaves, who finished his career in 2000 with 816 ... He is also the nation’s leader among active players in assists ... With 32 points vs. Michigan, Winston has scored 1,675 points and needs 44 more points to pass Paul Davis (1,718 points, 2002-06) and Mike Robinson (1,717 points, 1971-74) for ninth and 10th place in the MSU record books ... Winston is the first player in Big Ten history to score at least 1,600 points and hand out at least 800 assists.
Make sure you keep updating this story all night for highlights and updates. Also comment with Spartan fans in the comment section as the game goes on.
Starters: Marcus Bingham Jr (MBJ), Aaron Henry, Gabe Brown, Xavier Tillman, and Cassius Winston.
UPDATE 1st media timeout of the ball game: #8 MSU leads Minnesota 6-2 15:56 Xavier Tillman has all six points and five rebounds.
UPDATE 2nd media timeout of the ball game: #8 MSU leads Minnesota 16-13 11:56 Spartans have three terrible turnovers.
UPDATE 3rd media timeout of the ball game: #8 MSU leads Minnesota 22-20 7:28 Spartans have SIX terrible turnovers.
UPDATE FINAL media timeout of the ball game: #8 MSU tied with Minnesota 28-28 3:15 Spartans have EIGHT terrible turnovers.
Halftime Score and Stats:
UPDATE: 1st media timeout of the 2nd half: Your #8 Spartans in command of Minnesota 45-37. `15:46 The Spartans have got their turnovers under control with nine.
UPDATE: 2nd media timeout of the 2nd half: Your #8 Spartans in command of Minnesota 52-44. `10:55 The Spartans have got their turnovers under control with 10.
UPDATE: 3rd media timeout of the 2nd half: Your #8 Spartans in command of Minnesota 59-50. `7:02 The Spartans have got their turnovers under control with 11.
UPDATE: FINAL media timeout of the 2nd half: Your #8 Spartans in command of Minnesota 65-55. `2:52 The Spartans have got their turnovers under control with 12.
Spartans WIN 74-58!
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