Michigan State outguns U, 71-55

Michael Dougherty

EAST LANSING, Mich. — One is the loneliest number that Gophers men’s basketball coach Clem Haskins will ever know.
His squad managed to muster only one offensive rebound, and shot only 38 field goals in Michigan State’s 71-55 thumping of Minnesota at The Breslin Center Wednesday night.
Michigan State (13-4, 2-1 in the Big Ten) dominated the boards, holding Minnesota (10-3, 1-2) without an offensive rebound until guard Kevin Clark grabbed one with less than seven minutes left in the game.
When asked if he realized his team had just one rebound, Quincy Lewis — Minnesota’s leading scorer with 14 points — looked as if he was told the University’s impending semester conversion would keep him out of the NBA for another year.
“That’s it?” Lewis asked. “Well, I guess that’s how they beat us — they just killed us on the boards.”
And in the transition game. The Spartans scored 23 points off the Gophers’ 20 turnovers, and held a 19-1 edge in second-chance scoring.
Spartans senior guard Jason Klein lit up the Gophers with 21 points on 7-of-12 shooting (4-of-7 on three pointers), and All-American point guard Mateen Cleaves scored 14 points along with six assists and five steals.
“I’ve been in this game all my life, since I was 11 years old, and I told my guys that anybody can get just one rebound,” Gophers catch Clem Haskins said. “You can’t expect to win with just one (offensive) rebound.”
Spartans’ forward Antonio Smith grabbed 11 rebounds (seven offensive) and took Joel Przybilla (three rebounds) and Miles Tarver (four) out of the rebounding game completely.
“Holding them to one offensive rebound was the key,” Spartans’ coach Tom Izzo said. “Smith really dominated down under the hoop.”
The Gophers started out well, with Przybilla scoring six early points and Lewis four, and when Clark hit a three-pointer with 11 minutes left the score was tied 12-12.
But the Spartans went on a quick 9-0 spurt highlighted by a soaring dunk from forward Morris Peterson.
Przybilla hit two free throws with just under a minute remaining to close the halftime gap to 30-23. But the Spartans — Klein in particular — came out of the locker room on fire.
Klein hit two quick threes, including one as the shot clock expired that Izzo said almost hit Magic Johnson’s retired jersey hanging in the rafters. As a team, Michigan State hit 6-of-12 three pointers in the second half.
In the two regular season meetings last season, Klein scored 19 and 14 points, and Haskins said he thinks the guy has it in for the Gophers.
“Klein loves to play against us,” Haskins said. “The Gophers seem to help him get his (scoring) average up.”
Przybilla (11 points, eight blocks) and Tarver both credited Smith’s tough inside play for the overwhelming rebounding edge (37-24, 18-1 offensively).
“That’s how they beat you,” Tarver said, “with defense and rebouding and a good transition game.”

Minnesota 23 32 — 55
Michigan State 30 41 — 71

Minnesota (10-3, 1-2)
Lewis 4-10 4-5 14, Tarver 1-4 0-0 2, Przybilla 4-5 3-5 11, Clark 1-5 1-2 7, Nathaniel 4-6 2-2 3, Sinville 0-0 0-0 0, Ohnstad 3-5 1-3 7, Keating 0-0 0-0 0, Simmons 0-0 0-0 0, Broxsie 0-1 0-0 0, Rychart 0-0 0-0 0, Sanden 2-2 0-0 4. Totals 19-38 14-20 55.

Michigan State (13-4, 2-1)
Huston 0-4 0-4 0, Klein 7-12 3-6 21, Smith 2-5 2-4 6, Cleaves 5-13 3-5 14, Bell 2-6 01 4, Kelley 2-5 3-4 7, Guess 1-1 0-0 3, Smith 0-0 0-0 0, Cherry 0-0 0-0 0, Davis 0-1 0-0 0, Peterson 5-9 0-1 11, Granger 2-7 0-1 5. Totals 26-63 11-22 71.
Three Pointers – Minnesota 3-9 (Lewis 2-5, Clark 1-2, Ohnstad 0-1, Tarver 0-1) Michigan State 8-18 (Klein 4-7, Cleaves 1-4, Peterson 1-3, Granger 1-2, Guess 1-1). Rebounding – Minnesota 24 (Lewis 6) Michgan State 37 (Smith 11). Assists – Minnesota 10 (Lewis 3) Michigan State 15 (Cleaves 6). Turnovers –Minnesota 20 (Przybilla 5) Michigan State 11 (Cleaves 5). Blocked Shots – Minnesota 10 (Przybilla 8) Michigan State 2 (Huston, Smith 1).