Spartans use second half run to drop Gophers

Minnesota went more than six consecutive minutes without a field goal in the second half and lost their second straight conference game.

Spartans use second half run to drop Gophers

Josh Katzenstein

If the Minnesota menâÄôs basketball teamâÄôs 71-62 loss to No. 20 Michigan State Friday proved one thing, itâÄôs that the Gophers are lost without Trevor Mbakwe.
The junior scored 17 points and grabbed nine rebounds, but when he was sitting on the bench with foul trouble in the second half, nobody on the team could hit a basket.
No. 14 Minnesota carried a 28-22 lead at halftime, but Michigan State (9-4, 1-0 Big Ten) used a 21-3 run midway through the second half to dash the Gophers (11-3, 0-2) hopes of gaining a quality Big Ten road win early in conference play.
SpartansâÄô guard Durrell Summers scored 14 of his game-high 19 points in the second half, including four 3-pointers as Michigan State overcame a 1-for-14 start from behind the arc.
The Gophers never had an answer for Summers, and they went more than six straight minutes without a field goal in the second half. Michigan State led by as many as 15 after intermission after trailing by eight at one point in the first half. Minnesota entered the game 63-6 when leading at halftime under Tubby Smith.
Blake Hoffarber was the only Minnesota player besides Mbakwe âÄî who played just 22 minutes âÄî to score in double figures. The senior guard finished with 12 points. The other three GophersâÄô starters shot a combined 6-for-17 from the field, and point guard Al Nolen had four turnovers.
With MbakweâÄôs foul trouble and freshman Mo Walker out for the season (knee), the Gophers needed junior forward Colton Iverson to contribute quality minutes off the bench, but he scored just seven points on 2-for-6 shooting in 21 minutes.
Minnesota will have a long weekend to fix its problems before hosting Indiana on Tuesday, a game the Gophers desperately need to win if they hope to stay in the Big Ten title discussion.