MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Liam Robbins had 18 points, nine ricochets and three blocks, and led a choking effort from No.. 21 Minnesota in defense of No.. 17 Michigan State 81-56 on Monday night.
Marcus Carr scored 19 points, handing out five assists for the Gophers (9-1, 2-1 Big Ten), who never left the sputtering Spartans behind and held on to 25. 7% shoot (18 for 70) while beating 52-36.
Aaron Henry, who came off the bench for the first time this season, had 11 points and three assists, both meager team highs, when the Spartans (6-3, 0-3) made their first 0-3 start in Big scored ten games in 19 years.
Minnesota, which was then no. 4 Iowa have faced and defeated consecutive opponents in the Associated Press poll on Friday for the first time since beating Michigan State and Purdue in the 2010 Big Ten tournament. The Gophers have five more games in a row against teams that are currently in the AP Top 25.
Robbins, the 7-foot transfer from Drake, held up against Iowa star Luka Garza on Friday with 18 points, five rebounds and four blocks, finding more room to move 3-inch ahead of Joey Hauser to roam the state of Michigan. Robbins hit a 3-pointer on the opening possession, mixed in a handful of successful soft hooks, and showed Both Gach his passing ability with a nifty high-low feed for a layup and a three-point play after a foul on Hauser gave the Gophers a 46-21 lead.
Brandon Johnson, who made eight of nine 3-pointers against the Hawkeyes to fuel the 102-95 win in overtime, had nine points and seven rebounds. His outside shot went cold along with most of his teammates as the Gophers only shot 6 for 25 from 3 point range, but they did almost everything else well, with the guards jumping for long rebounds and charging for loose balls.
The Spartans missed an astonishing 27 of their first 31 shots from the ground. They left 5:40 in the first half without a goal, and Joshua Langford finally stopped the skid with a 3-pointer from the corner. Carr swung a 3-pointer deficit to 36-16 at halftime and the Gophers never let go of coach Richard Pitino’s first home win in five attempts against Michigan State. He’s 3-9 in eight seasons against the Spartans.
Hauser, who had a career high of 27 points in a home defeat to Wisconsin on Friday, scored six points in an 8-1 shootout. Rocket Watts only had two points while going 1 to 9 off the floor. In Michigan’s three Big Ten games, he shoots 5 to 29 for just 12 points.
State of Michigan: Izzo found a spark by getting Henry off the bench, starting Foster Loyer as point guard, bringing Watts to shooting guard, and Langford to Henry’s wing point. There was no flow on the offensive and hardly a quick break, only forced jumpers and just bad luck.
Minnesota: This has been quite a day for Pitino’s program. The Gophers hit the AP Top 25 for the first time since December. On the 10th. In October 2017, Carr was named a co-Big Ten Player of the Week award winner, and they ended up losing in five games to the Spartans.
Michigan State: Plays in Nebraska on Saturday. In six meetings since joining the Big Ten, the Huskers have beaten the Spartans only once at home (Jan. . 24, 2015).
Minnesota: Plays at No.. 6 Wisconsin on Thursday. The Gophers will only face rival Badgers once this season.
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