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(Saturday, January 11th)
Final Score: (5) Michigan State 87, Minnesota 75 (OT)
East Lansing, MI (SportsNetwork.com) - Keith Appling poured in 24 points, including eight in overtime, as No. 5 Michigan State recovered from a late second-half collapse to dispatch Minnesota, 87-75, at Breslin Center.
Gary Harris followed with 19 points, while Kenny Kaminski added 15 for the Spartans (15-1, 4-0 Big Ten), winners of eight in a row since their lone loss to North Carolina.
"We're trying to find ourselves. You know Minnesota, give them a lot of credit. They made a lot of threes, we knew they were going to shoot them; we didn't defend it very well," said Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo. "But they have to make them too; they made a couple of tough ones. You know it worries you when they start banking in those shots, you start questioning some stuff."
Andre Hollins totaled 24 points and Malik Smith posted 17 for the Gophers (13-4, 2-2), whose two-game win streak came to a halt despite forcing the game beyond regulation by wiping out a late five-point deficit.
Minnesota was down 71-66 with 21 seconds to play, but Smith drained a trey and after Harris bricked a pair of free throws, DeAndre Mathieu converted a layup with just over one second left.
The luck ran out as the extra session began. Michigan State scored the first nine points as Minnesota missed its first five shots from the floor and committed three turnovers. The Gophers took to fouling MSU's best players, and the strategy backfired.
Appling finished 8-for-8 from the charity stripe, Harris connected on both of his attempts, while Matt Costello and Denzel Valentine each converted 1-of-2. Harris and Valentine also made jumpers to account for the hosts' overtime output.
"I thought we had a couple of 'empty possessions.' and by that I mean turnovers," said Minnesota head coach Richard Pitino. "Then they had a couple of seconds where they got some big time offensive rebounds, where we did not. It was little things. It was free-throws and rebounding that lost us the game, but I think hopefully we showed that we can compete with anybody and we will continue to show that in the league."
Kaminski's triple provided the Spartans with a 13-8 edge less than six minutes into the contest, but the Gophers began digging and took a 29-21 lead on a trey from Joey King with seven minutes left before halftime.
Mathieu's lay-in provided a 32-23 advantage for the visitors, and though a Travis Trice shot pulled MSU within 35-31, a Hollins shot from long distance made it 41-31 for Minnesota.
It was a 41-36 spread for the Gophers at the break after Appling hit a jumper.
A Maurice Walker shot opened up another double-digit lead for Minnesota at 53-43 just over four minutes into the second half, but the momentum swung in the other direction from there. Branden Dawson's tip-in with 8:24 remaining capped a 15-0 surge and the Spartans went up 58-53.
Hollins was later fouled from beyond the arc, and after hitting all three free throws, the Gophers led 59-58, but the Spartans struck back, leading 67-61 inside of three minutes left in regulation.
MSU's 15-1 start matches the best in program history under Izzo, along with a similar start to the 2000-01 season ... The Spartans have won six of the last seven, and 14 of the last 16 matchups overall vs. the Gophers ... Appling finished 15-of-16 from the free-throw line, part of Michigan State's 32-of-40 performance ... Dawson and Valentine both pulled down a team-high 10 rebounds, while Elliott Eliason grabbed a game-best 11 boards and blocked four shots for Minnesota.
01/11 22:26:12 ET
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