Gophers battle but come up short to #5 Spartans


The Minnesota Gopher men's basketball team couldn't hold on to, what would have been a huge upset in East Lansing, Michigan. Minnesota fell to the #5 Michigan State Spartans Saturday afternoon 87-75, in overtime.

The loss snapped a string of back-to-back Big Ten wins for the Gophers (13-4).

Andre Hollins led the Gophers he scored 24 points, including a couple of three's. Malik Smith was also in double figures as he finished with 17 points.

Minnesota didn't make it easy for Michigan State. The Gophers played well early building a 41-36 lead at the half. But a 15-0 run for Michigan State in the middle of the second half turned the tables on the Gophers.

Minnesota mustered one last rally erasing a five-point deficit in the final minute of the second half, by making free throws. Then with just over a second to go Deandre Mathieu made a layup to tie the game at 71 and force overtime.

The Gophers ran out of gas in overtime though, the Spartans opened the extra frame with a 9-0 run. Minnesota didn't get on the board in overtime until the final minute of it.

Kenny Kaminski had a big game for the Spartans as he stepped up with Michigan State's Adrian Payne out. Kaminski hit his first five three's of the game to keep the Spartans in it in the first half, and help them spark the run in the second half. Kaminski finished with 15 points.

Keith Appling led the Spartans, he finished with 24. Sophomore Gary Harris also had 19.

Minnesota has not won at Michigan State now since 1998.

Saturday's loss was the first of four straight for Minnesota against opponents ranked in the Top 25. The Gophers host Ohio State on Thursday night at "The Barn."

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