Live Blog: Gophers Men’s Basketball v. No. 6 Michigan State

Marco LaNave

The Gophers will try to upset the No. 6 Michigan State Spartans at Williams Arena on Saturday.

Final – The Gophers final possession ended with Westbrook driving to throw the ball in the air without touching the basket. Hoffarber got a hand on it to try for a tip-in, but no bump of the ball landed in the hoop as the horn sounded. MICHIGAN STATE 65, GOPHERS 64.

0:14.7 2nd – It all comes down to one possession for the Gophers. Westbrook and Joseph are probably the go-to guys. All they need is one basket. MICHIGAN STATE 65, GOPHERS 64.

1:41 2nd – Michigan State just called a timeout on its first possession with a chance to break a tie since its opening possession. Westbrook missed a three over Allen after Morgan made two free throws to tie it. GOPHERS 62, MICHIGAN STATE 62.

4:03 2nd – Lucas trimmed the margin to 60-58 when he made a three over Joseph. Westbrook responded for Minnesota by driving for a shot off the glass. The Gophers just called a timeout with nine seconds to go on the shot clock. GOPHERS 62, MICHIGAN STATE 58.

7:41 2nd – Westbrook and Joseph could be the ones to carry the Gophers offensively in the final minutes. Each has 14 points. On an in-bound pass, Westbrook bounced the ball off of Summers’ back and grabbed it to make a layup extending the lead to 55-45. Later, a three by the Spartans’ Allen cut it to a five-point game, but Joseph responded by driving and sinking a one-handed floater. GOPHERS 57, MICHIGAN STATE 50.

11:08 2nd – The Gophers starters have played the whole half thus far, except for Iverson coming in for Sampson for a few minutes. Endurance will be the key in the later minutes. Michigan State has some depth to work with, and Minnesota will probably have to use its own at some point. Feeding off of the home crowd – which is energized about the upset possibility – might be a necessity for Minnesota. GOPHERS 51, MICHIGAN STATE 42.

14:52 2nd – This looks to be a grind-it-out second half, as Michigan State has already been called for four fouls. Morgan is on the bench for the Spartans and probably for a while, because he picked up two fouls in the first 2:10 of the half and now has four. With two free throws on Morgan’s fourth foul, Westbrook scored his 1,000th career point, becoming the 35th player in team history to do so. He later hit another two-point jumper and has 12 points. GOPHERS 45, MICHIGAN STATE 37.

Halftime – Alumni from all the way back to the 1930s were just honored on the court. Minnesota has shot 50 percent from the field, while Michigan State has shot 29 percent. Westbrook leads the Gophers with eight points, while Lucas has 10 to lead Michigan State. The Spartans trail at halftime for the first time since a loss to North Carolina on Dec. 1, breaking a streak of 12 straight games in which they led at the break. GOPHERS 34, MICHIGAN STATE 26.

2:04 1st – The crowd just gave its loudest roar in approval of a 6-0 run by the Gophers that led to a Michigan State timeout. GOPHERS 32, MICHIGAN STATE 22.

3:19 1st – Without their starting point guard, the Gophers still have 10 assists on 12 made field goals. Westbrook leads the team with four and has a team-leading six points. Minnesota is out-shooting Michigan State 50 percent to 31 percent and has a 17-16 rebounding edge. Hoffarber’s four rebounds leads the team. GOPHERS 28, MICHIGAN STATE 22.

7:54 1st – The Gophers had all of their starters on the floor with a 16-13 lead a minute ago. Sampson lost the ball to Spartans guard Durrell Summers, who dunked to close the lead to one. Joseph answered with a long, straight-on three off the backboard. Green made a jumper for the Spartans to cut it to two. Each team has missed a three on its most recent possession. GOPHERS 19, MICHIGAN STATE 17.

11:56 1st – Joseph and Sampson were taken out for freshman guard Justin Cobbs and sophomore center Colton Iverson. Joseph hasn’t had to handle the ball too much, but he has two of the team’s five assists. Westbrook leads all scorers with five points. GOPHERS 14, MICHIGAN STATE 8.

15:41 1st – As in the first game against the Spartans, the Gophers defense has been good. They haven’t shown full-court pressure yet, but Michigan State has missed each of its five field-goal attempts. Joseph made a three in front of the Spartans’ bench on Minnesota’s first possession, and Westbrook connected from almost the identical spot. GOPHERS 6, MICHIGAN STATE 0.

All three players who will not play today – junior guard Al Nolen, junior forward Trevor Mbakwe and freshman forward Royce White – are in suits and will be seated on the Gophers bench. White hasn’t appeared on the bench since the start of the regular season.

Starting Lineups:

Michigan State Spartans (16-3, 6-0 Big Ten)

F Sr. Raymar Morgan (.588 Field Goal Percentage, 10.9 points per game, 5.4 rebounds per game)
F So. Delvon Roe (.602 FG %, 7.6 PPG, 6.3 RPG)
C Fr. Garrick Sherman (.576 FG %2.2 PPG, 1.6 RPG)
G Jr. Chris Allen (.453 FG %, 9.8 PPG, 3.1 RPG)
G Jr. Kalin Lucas (.463 FG %, 15.5 PPG, 2.0 RPG) (Preseason Big Ten Player of the Year)

Minnesota Gophers (12-6, 3-3 Big Ten)

F Sr. Damian Johnson (.500 FG %, 10.0 PPG, 5.3 RPG)
C So. Ralph Sampson III (.562 FG %, 7.2 PPG, 4.5 RPG)
G Jr. Blake Hoffarber (.523 FG %, 12.3 PPG, 3.5 RPG)
G So. Devoe Joseph (.357 FG %, 6.0 PPG, 1.7 RPG)
G Sr. Lawrence Westbrook (.500 FG %, 14.0 PPG, 2.5 RPG)