Live Blog: Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament: Gophers v. No. 11 Michigan State

Marco LaNave

Final (Overtime) – Minnesota scored its last eight points on free throws to seal a huge win with regard to its NCAA tournament hopes. Joseph scored all of his 17 points in the second half and overtime, making three 3-pointers and all six of his free-throw attempts. GOPHERS 72, MICHIGAN STATE 67.

1:32 OT – After the Spartans opened with a 3-point play by Morgan that resulted in Johnson fouling out, Minnesota has scored 10 straight. Joseph hit the game-tying 3-pointer and another to extend the lead to four. He has a team-leading 15 points. GOPHERS 65, MICHIGAN STATE 58.

End regulation – Lucas lost the ball driving in the lane between Joseph and Westbrook. Minnesota had a chance with 0:03.9 seconds to go, but Joseph’s long throw beyond the 3-point line went off the backboard to the left of the basket. GOPHERS 55, MICHIGAN STATE 55.

0:15.9 2nd – After Joseph was blocked by Green, the Spartans have a chance to win it. Shot clock is one second short of game clock. GOPHERS 55, MICHIGAN STATE 55.

1:13 2nd – The Gophers will have to overcome their nemesis of late-game pressure. The Spartans have scored the last seven points, including the latest on a game-tying layup by Morgan. GOPHERS 55, MICHIGAN STATE 55.

3:52 2nd – Minnesota has come this far so many times. But the Gophers look like they know what extra fight it will take. Iverson was just called for a foul after trying to reach around Spartans forward Draymond Green for a pass while on defense. Green got up with a chip on his shoulder and had to be restrained from Iverson entering the timeout. GOPHERS 53, MICHIGAN STATE 48.

7:37 2nd – Minnesota continues to show some extra effort on the offensive end. Six of their last 10 points have come off of offensive rebounds. GOPHERS 50, MICHIGAN STATE 42.

10:50 2nd – The Gophers achieved their largest lead of the half at seven points when drove along the baseline against Lucas for layup. Hoffarber currently leads all scorers with 14 points. GOPHERS 42, MICHIGAN STATE 37.

15:53 2nd – The Spartans have twice closed Minnesota’s lead to one, but Gophers senior guard hit the team’s sixth 3-pointer and Joseph made a pair of free throws in response. GOPHERS 33, MICHIGAN STATE 30.

Halftime – After making just 6 of their first 24 shots, the Spartans made four straight to cut into the Gophers’ lead, which had grown as large as eight after Michigan State went 9:02 without a field goal. Hoffarber has three 3-pointers for nine points to lead all scorers. GOPHERS 28, MICHIGAN STATE 26.

3:45 1st – Lucas has been limited to four points on 2-of-9 shooting, while the Spartans are shooting just 27 percent (6-of-23) as a team. GOPHERS 23, MICHIGAN STATE 16.

7:41 1st – The Gophers have scored the last 10 straight points, including four from sophomore center Colton Iverson, who came to the bench with a bleeding elbow after he was fouled by Nix. The Spartans have already committed seven turnovers. GOPHERS 18, MICHIGAN STATE 12.

11:58 1st – The Gophers recently cut Michigan State’s largest lead to one point on Hoffarber’s 3-pointer, the Gophers third in the game already. MICHIGAN STATE 12, GOPHERS 11.

15:41 1st – The Gophers are starting to show the desire they’ll need to bring tonight. Johnson hustled after a missed 3-pointer and threw it off a Spartan to retain possession for the Gophers. Michigan State, which has scored the last six points, certainly isn’t giving Minnesota the open looks it had last night against Penn State. MICHIGAN STATE 8, GOPHERS 5.

INDIANAPOLIS — It’s already been a crazy day at the Big Ten tournament at Conseco Fieldhouse with no easy victories.

Big Ten player of the year Evan Turner made a long buzzer-beating 3-pointer to give top-seeded Ohio State a 69-68 win after it blew a 13-point second-half lead over eighth-seeded Michigan.

Then fifth-seeded Illinois, the Big Ten’s other bubble team, earned a big 58-54 win over Wisconsin after watching a 12-point lead shrink to two in the final two minutes.

Just a few minutes ago, second-seeded Purdue began defense of last year’s tournament title by overcoming a hot start and late rally by seventh-seeded Northwestern to earn a 69-61 win and a berth in the semifinals.

Now in the last quarterfinal of the day, the Gophers have a chance to help their NCAA tournament resume in a matchup with No. 11 Michigan State.

They haven’t beaten the Spartans in seven tries – including last year’s Big Ten quarterfinal – under third-year head coach Tubby Smith.

Seeking its longest winning streak (three games) since the nonconference season, Minnesota also hopes to give Smith 20 wins for the 17th-straight season, which would remain the longest active streak and the third-best all-time.

Starting Lineups:

Minnesota Gophers (19-12, 9-9 Big Ten)

F Sr. Damian Johnson (10.3 points per game, 4.4 rebounds per game, 2.4 assists per game)</ br> C So. Ralph Sampson III (8.5 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 1.9 apg)</ br> G Sr. Lawrence Westbrook (12.8 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 2.2 apg)</ br> G Jr. Blake Hoffarber (10.6 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 1.8 apg)</ br> G So. Devoe Joseph (9.2 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 3.0 apg)

Michigan State Spartans (24-7, 14-4 Big Ten)

F Sr. Raymar Morgan (11.1 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 1.8 apg)</ br> C Fr. Derrick Nix (2.3 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 0.3 apg)</ br> G Jr. Durrell Summers (10.3 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 0.9 apg)</ br> G Sr. Isaiah Dahlman (1.5 ppg, 0.4 rpg, 0.2 apg)</ br> G Jr. Kalin Lucas (14.8 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 3.9 apg)