Jan. 5, 1997

Minnesota Tops Michigan State

John Thomas scored 12 points and 15th-ranked Minnesota held Michigan State scoreless for over eight minutes in the second half to beat the Spartans, 68-43, in a Big Ten Conference affair.

Quincy Lewis added 11 points, all in the first half, for the Golden Gophers (13-1, 2-0 Big 10), who are off to their best start in 20 years. Minnesota opened the 1976-77 season with a 16-1 record and finished a school-best 24-3.

After Morris Peterson's basket cut Minnesota's lead to 50-39 with 8:41 left, the Golden Gophers went on an 18-0 run over the next eight and 1/2 minutes to take a 68-39 lead before Michigan State made two baskets in the final 14 seconds of the game.

"The key to our team has been defense," Minnesota coach Clem Haskins said. "We're only giving up 59 points per game. We've preached defense since day one."

Minnesota shot 54 percent (28-for-52) and became the first team to shoot better than 50 percent against the Spartans this year and the first visiting team to better that mark at Michigan State since Oklahoma State on January 14, 1995, a span of 29 games.

Morris Peterson had 12 points for the Spartans (7-3, 0-2), who lost for the first time at home this season.

The Spartans were held to 30 percent (16-for-53) by the Golden Gophers and have dropped two straight since a season-high four game winning-streak.

"That was as good a team defensively as we've played in years," Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said. "They've got size, they've got strength and experience. I think he's (Haskins) got one of his best teams."

Minnesota has won two straight meetings against Michigan State, both on the road, and leads the all-time series, 52-37.

NCAA BB  FINAL               1ST 2ND     TOTAL
         MINNESOTA (15)       37  31        68
         MICHIGAN ST          27  16        43    FINAL
 HIGH SCORERS:  MINNESOTA - JOHN THOMAS 12, QUINCY LEWIS 11,
                COURTNEY JAMES 10
                MICHIGAN ST - MORRIS PETERSON 12, RAY WEATHERS
                10, JON GARAVAGLIA 7
 HIGH REBOUND:  MINNESOTA - COURTNEY JAMES 9, TWO PLAYERS WITH
                5
                MICHIGAN ST - JON GARAVAGLIA 10, MORRIS PETERSON
                5
 HIGH ASSISTS:  MINNESOTA - JOHN THOMAS 4, ERIC HARRIS 4
                MICHIGAN ST - THOMAS KELLY 3, ANTONIO SMITH 2
   ATTENDANCE:  12,443
                                                                        
MINNESOTA (68)
                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
James           25   5-6   0-0   2-9  3  1   10
Jacobson        20   3-5   0-0   0-5  3  2    7
J Thomas        30  5-12   2-3   3-5  4  2   12
Jackson         35   4-8   0-0   0-4  2  4    8
Harris          32   3-6   3-7   1-2  4  3    9
Archambaul       1   0-0   0-0   0-0  0  0    0
Lewis           26   4-6   3-4   1-4  2  3   11
C Thomas        12   3-6   1-1   0-1  0  1    7
Tarver           9   0-1   0-0   0-1  0  2    0
Winter          10   1-2   2-2   0-2  0  0    4
_______________________________________________
TOTALS         200 28-52 11-17  7-33 18 18   68
_______________________________________________
Percentages: FG-.538, FT-.647. 
3-Point Goals: 1-6, .167 (Jacobson 1-2, J Thomas 0-1, Jackson 0-1, Harris 0-1, Lewis
0-1).
Team rebounds: 3.
Blocked shots: 3 (James, Jacobson, J Thomas).
Turnovers: 10 (Jacobson 4, Jackson 3, C Thomas, Harris, James). 
Steals: 8 (Jacobson 3, Harris 2, C Thomas, J Thomas, Jackson).
MICHIGAN ST (43)
                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Smith           31   1-5   1-2   0-3  2  3    3
Klein           11   1-4   0-0   1-1  0  2    3
Garavaglia      32   3-7   1-2  3-10  1  1    7
Weathers        30  3-10   3-5   1-2  1  1   10
Cleaves         23   2-8   0-0   0-0  1  3    4
Kelly           19   1-1   0-0   0-1  3  3    2
Mull            11   1-6   0-0   0-2  0  1    2
Thomas           6   0-0   0-0   0-1  1  1    0
Polonowski       9   0-2   0-0   0-4  1  1    0
Peterson        20   4-8   3-4   4-5  0  3   12
Granger          5   0-2   0-0   0-0  0  0    0
Wiley            3   0-0   0-0   0-0  0  0    0
_______________________________________________
TOTALS         200 16-53  8-13  9-29 10 19   43
_______________________________________________
Percentages: FG-.302, FT-.615. 
3-Point Goals: 3-12, .250 (Klein 1-2, Garavaglia 0-1, Weathers 1-3, Cleaves 0-1, Mull 0-3, Peterson 1-2). 
Team rebounds: 3. 
Blocked shots: 5 (Polonowski 3, Garavaglia 2). 
Turnovers: 14 (Cleaves 4, Smith 3, Kelly 2, Peterson 2, Mull, Polonowski, Weathers).
Steals: 3 (Cleaves, Garavaglia, Smith).
__________________________________
Minnesota          37   31  -   68
Michigan St        27   16  -   43
__________________________________
Technical fouls: None.  
A: 12,443. 
Officials: Steve Welmer, Sam Lickliter, Steve Skiles.