No. 10 Michigan State beats Gophers 71-69 on Hauser’s buzzer-beater
Joey Hauser made a low-post shot with a tenth of a second left, lifting No. 10 Michigan State to a 71-69 victory over Minnesota on Wednesday night for a ninth straight win.
The Spartans (14-2, 5-0 Big Ten) had the ball with 18.1 seconds left, and A.J. Hoggard drove into the lane in the final seconds and set up Hauser for the final basket.
Michigan State freshman Max Christie had 16 points, Gabe Brown scored 13 points and Tyson Walker added 10 points.
The Golden Gophers (10-4, 1-4) were very competitive throughout the game and had opportunities to pull off the upset.
Minnesota’s chances to win were hurt when Eric Curry injured his left ankle with a minute left, putting him on the bench with 19 points.
Eylijah Stephens scored 18 points, Payton Willis had 15 and Jamison Battle added 13 points for the Gophers. Stephens made four free throws late, putting the teams in a 69-all tie.
The Spartans started strong, but couldn’t sustain success against a scrappy team.
The Spartans led 27-17 late in the first half, but they got sloppy and Minnesota took advantage to cut its deficit to three at halftime.
The Gophers scored seven straight points, five off turnovers, to take a 52-51 lead midway through the second half. Michigan State went ahead by six points a couple times, but could not put Minnesota away.
In the Big Ten opener for both teams last month, Michigan State beat Minnesota 75-67 in Minneapolis.
Minnesota: First-year coach Ben Johnson may be disappointed his team didn’t win, but he can be proud of how hard and well his team played against a top-10 opponent on the road.
Michigan State: Tom Izzo’s team has taken care of a relatively easy schedule, beating the Gophers twice, Penn State, Northwestern and Nebraska.
FACE IN THE CROWD
Hall of Famer Roy Williams and his wife, Wanda, had courtside seats across from Michigan State’s bench.
Williams retired last April after winning more than 900 games and three national titles at North Carolina and Kansas. He watched the ninth-ranked Jayhawks beat No. 15 Iowa State 62-61 on Tuesday night.
Minnesota: Hosts Iowa on Sunday.
Michigan State: Hosts Northwestern on Saturday.