Michigan State defense stops Minnesota, 65-64 The Enlightened Spartan: Michigan State defense stops Minnesota, 65-64

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Michigan State defense stops Minnesota, 65-64

Today, that was STEALING. Or, steely resolve by our Michigan State Spartans, in an exciting, 65-64 victory over Minnesota which saw the Big Green behind the whole game, and by as many as 13 in the second half. Yes, MSU kept chipping away, chipping and chipping. At the 5-minute mark, CBS all-world announcer Gus Johnson said "this is where the Spartan defense usually clamps down." And it did, shutting down Minny the rest of the game. In the last 6:07, MSU outscored Minny 13-4. Game, set, match - MSU.

The Big Green didn't lead until 1:27 left, after Big Ten POY Kalin Lucas came through again with yet another clutch shot, a three pointer that helped the victory. Then, on the final play, Minnesota set up with 15 seconds left and, as Izzo said, "we switched up everyone" and next thing you know Allen guarded Minny ace Westbrook; Allen closed off the door and Westbrook's off-balance shot led to a ping pong gallery the final five seconds, all misses until the clock ran out. GREAT defense by MSU, and GOOD TEAMS ALWAYS FIND A WAY TO WIN. Lucas (22 pts, 8-14 FG, 4-6 threes) and Morgan (17 pts, 6-6 FG, 6 rebs, 2 blks) were the best players for the Spartans, and chip in some kudos to Allen (12 pts, 4-7 threes).

The biggest problem today was Minnesota's size on the interior made it very difficult for MSU's offensive big-guys, as Delvon Roe (0-5, 7 rebs) and Draymond Green (2-9, 8 rebs) had 4 pts between them. But, MSU had its best 3 point shooting game of the season (11-24, 46%) and had just 10 turnovers. This efficiency kept them in the game until the end.

Most interesting stat of the season? In a tough, defensive game, MSU was only called for 12 fouls... and Minnesota 10 - that is a combined 22 fouls for both teams the whole game. We've seen the Spartans typically get over 20 fouls per game. (24 vs UNC and Nwestern is the most this year; five times with 20 fouls or more, 11 times with at least 18 fouls).

Winning in Minnesota is never easy, but MSU now has 8 consecutive victories over the Gophers (14 of the last 16)... yes, the ES sez it is now official: MSU dominates Minnesota in basketball. It also has 8 consecutive victories this season to jump to 17-3 overall, and 7-0 in the conference -- its best conference start since Magic Johnson's freshman year. Wow. The Big Green now has a 2 game lead over the field, with another difficult test -- heading into scUM land, where we can wipe the floor with Manny Harris' face.


  1. MSU19784:53 PM

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