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Michigan State denies Gophers' upset bid

Joey Hauser's last-second lay-up handed Minnesota its fourth straight loss.

Joey Hauser's lay-up with one-tenth of a second left helped No. 10 Michigan State hold off the Minnesota Gophers on Wednesday night, handing Minnesota a 71-69 defeat.

The Gophers went into the game with a three-game losing streak and hadn't won in East Lansing since 2015. But Minnesota evened things out thanks to a hot start by E.J. Stephens, who had 10 points in the first half.

While Stephens provided a punch on the scoresheet, the Gophers were able to stay in the game thanks to their effort on the glass. Minnesota was outrebounded 18-16 in the first half but they were able to capitalize on their opportunities with 11 second-chance points.

The Gophers' first-half was capped off by a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by Payton Willis, who sent Minnesota into the locker room down 33-31.

The Spartans had several chances to pull away in the second half but Minnesota kept finding a way to come back. Luke Loewe's flagrant foul with just over 15 minutes to go sparked a four-point trip for Michigan State but a bucket by Willis and a 3-pointer Jamison Battle brought the Gophers made it a 46-45 game.

Michigan State responded with a 6-0 run fueled by Tyson Walker but the Gophers responded with a run of their own to tie the game at 51.

Even when Battle started 1-for-6 from the floor, he heated up in the second half and finished 13 points. Eric Curry added 19 points and seven rebounds to help the cause and Minnesota held the Spartans scoreless for just over two minutes to have a chance to take the lead with 33 seconds to go.

With the Gophers down 69-67, Stephens drew a foul driving to the basket and knocked down a pair of free throws to tie the game at 69. But Hauser's layup left Minnesota with another loss in the Big Ten.

The Gophers fell to 10-4 and 1-4 in conference play with the loss. They'll try to rebound when they host Iowa on Sunday afternoon.

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