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(Monday, December 31st)
Final Score: (9) Minnesota 76, (18) Michigan State 63
Minneapolis, MN (Sports Network) - No team had shot over 50 percent against Michigan State this season.
That was until Minnesota did so Monday, but the Golden Gophers still needed a late run to take care of the Spartans in the Big Ten opener for both teams.
Austin Hollins tallied 22 points and six assists in the ninth-ranked Gophers' 76-63 win over the No. 18 Spartans.
Michigan State, which had held its opponents to a 32 percent clip from the field over its last six contests, allowed Minnesota to shoot 56.6 percent (30- of-53) from the floor.
"I thought their transition game really hurt us," said Spartans head coach Tom Izzo. "That's why they shot so well."
Rodney Williams had 15 points and six boards, while Trevor Mbakwe added 11 points and 12 rebounds for Minnesota (13-1, 1-0 Big Ten), which has won nine straight games since its lone loss to Duke on Nov. 22.
Keith Appling recorded 15 points, six steals and five assists for the Spartans (11-3, 0-1), who had their six-game winning streak snapped.
Appling's layup gave Michigan State its largest lead of the contest at 59-54 midway through the second half, but Minnesota outscored its foe 22-4 the rest of the way.
Hollins took over and poured in eight points during the surge.
"We weren't very strong last year at closing out the game," said Hollins. "Today, we proved that we can come out here and execute to our full potential."
Earlier, Minnesota's margin in the opening half peaked at 12 as it led wire- to-wire over the first 20 minutes, but Travis Trice's 3-pointer pulled Michigan State within 39-38 heading into the break.
Branden Dawson's layup with 14:38 in the second stanza gave Michigan State its first lead. The bucket was part of a 15-5 Spartans' swing as they took a 55-51 advantage with 14 minutes left.
The Spartans shot 44.4 percent (28-of-63) from the floor, but just 20 percent (2-of-10) from the foul line ... Minnesota was just 59.1 percent (13-of-22) from the charity stripe.
12/31 21:28:20 ET
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