#9 Michigan State Invades Minnesota & Blows Out The Gophers 70-52
Hondo S. Carpenter
The #9 Michigan State Spartans got back in action tonight against the Minnesota Golden Gophers and got a much-needed road win 70-52. The win improves the men in green’s season record to 15-5 (7-2).
The Spartans had three players score in double-digits and were led by Xavier Tillman who had 17 points, ten rebounds, and five assists. Cassius Winston dropped in 18 points and eight assists and Mark “Rocket” Watts dropped in 10, with his return to the starting lineup. Malik Hall also got his first career start.
Tom Izzo said, “Not turning the ball over the second and (fixing) up the rebounding I thought was the difference in the game. We changed the lineup and I am trying to find some consistency. You have to have three guys and then some role players if you are going to win. I am not done.”
Richard Pitino the Minnesota head coach said, “They just physically wore us down. Not just rebounding, offensive, defensive and we just couldn’t hit a shot. Disappointing game.
The men in the green won the battle of the boards over the Gophers by a margin of 39-35. The Spartans had 11 turnovers. The difference in the game was points in the paint. Michigan State had a 34-20 scoring advantage in that stat alone.
The Spartan defense allowed the Gophers to 28% shooting from the field and 18% from three.
Izzo added, “I thought Cassius (Winston) just the second half really ran our team and ran some plays. We covered the ball screens decently and I thought Rocket Watts showed some things.”
The Spartans had the lead in the 40 minutes of the game for 33:36. The Gophers led for 2:27. In all Tom Izzo played 13 players. Seven of them scored.
Izzo’s men had 18 assists on 26 baskets. The Spartans shot 41% from three, 47% from the field and an encouraging 85% from the charity stripe.
The team will return to the hard-court Wednesday, January 29, 2020, in East Lansing, at the Breslin Center. It can be seen on BTN at 6:30 PM.
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