January 13, 1999
By HARRY ATKINS
AP Sports Writer
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Jason Klein scored a season-high 21 points as No. 14 Michigan State defeated 19th-ranked Minnesota 71-55 Wednesday night, the Spartans' first victory in five tries against ranked teams.
The Spartans (13-4, 2-1 Big Ten) took a 28-14 lead in the first half with a 16-2 run that was keyed by Morris Peterson's six points off the bench. Minnesota (10-3, 1-2) aided that run by going 7:29 between field goals.
The Spartans used a variety of defenses to hold Big Ten scoring leader Quincy Lewis to 14 points and limited Kevin Clark to seven. The duo had been combining to average 41.1 in Minnesota's wins and 32.5 in the Golden Gophers' defeats.
Still, the Gophers tried to make a game of it early in the second half.
Klein opened the half with seven consecutive points, including successive 3-pointers. But freshman Joel Przybilla, who finished with 11 points, had two baskets while Clark hit two free throws and a 3-pointer to narrow the deficit to 39-34 with 14:45 remaining.
It was all Michigan State after that. Lorenzo Guess, Peterson and A.J. Granger hit successive 3s to push the Spartans' lead to 48-36 and Minnesota never recovered.
The Spartans shot only 41.3 percent, but were 8-of-18 from 3-point range. But some of that was Minnesota's doing. With Przybilla, the Big Ten's top shot-blocker, swatting away eight attempts in the paint, Michigan State had no choice but to rely on jumpers.
Klein finished 7-of-12 from the field, including 4-of-7 from 3-point range.
Despite giving away a lot of height, the Spartans finished with a 37-24 edge in rebounding, including a whopping 18-1 on the offensive boards.