Michigan St. 69, Minnesota 58
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP)—Chris Hill scored 20 points and the Spartans had a season-high 15 steals in Michigan State’s 69-58 win over Minnesota on Saturday.
Shannon Brown had 13 points and Maurice Ager added 11 off the bench for the Spartans (13-9, 8-3 Big Ten), who won for the eighth time in their last 10 games.
Big Ten scoring and rebounding leader Kris Humphries had 17 points and a game-high nine rebounds for the Golden Gophers (9-14, 1-10), who managed just 19 points in the second half.
Michigan State had an easier time overcoming a 39-31 halftime deficit than it did in rallying from 23 down in a 79-78 overtime win on Jan. 28 in Minneapolis.
A 22-7 closing surge was the difference, including five straight points from Ager and all eight of Paul Davis’ points. But it didn’t look like another rally would be necessary in the first three minutes.
Minnesota erased a 7-0 deficit with a 15-6 spurt. And with the game tied at 23, the Golden Gophers took control with a 10-3 spurt late in the first half.
The Spartans were 2-for-12 from 3-point range and had just nine rebounds in the first 20 minutes. Davis, the Big Ten’s No. 5 scorer in league play, didn’t have a point or a rebound in the first half.
Michigan State came out firing after the break and tied it at 45 with help from eight quick points by Hill. After Minnesota regained the lead at 51-47, the Spartans scored seven straight points and went ahead to stay.