Jackson's Career Night Leads No. 2/1 Michigan State Past Minnesota, 87-57
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - Freshman forward Jaren Jackson Jr. poured in a career-high 27 points and No. 2/1 Michigan State hit 14 3-pointers en route to an 87-57 win over Minnesota in a Big Ten Conference men's basketball game at Williams Arena Tuesday night.
Michigan State has won nine-straight games and improves to 25-3 overall and 13-2 in the Big Ten Conference, while Minnesota falls to 14-14 overall and 3-12 in league play.
The Spartans came out on fire from long distance, hitting their first five 3-point attempts and forcing Minnesota to take a timeout at the 16:09 mark after taking a 15-6 lead, with a trio of three's from sophomore guard Cassius Winston and two from Jackson.
MSU hit its first 2-point basket - a jumper from sophomore guard Joshua Langford - at the 14:19 mark and a 3-pointer from junior guard Matt McQuaid - the team's seventh in the first seven minutes of the game, pushed the lead to 23-10.
The Spartans took their biggest lead of the half, 41-20, on a pair of free throws from Miles Bridges with 1:01 to play and went into the break with a 43-25 lead.
Minnesota scored the first points of the second half and cut the lead to 43-30 after a 3-pointer from Jordan Murphy and a layup from Isaiah Washington.
MSU led by 16 points six minutes into the second half, 51-35, and went on an 18-4 run and took a 69-39 lead on a layup from Jackson with 9:38 to play in the game.
Michigan State took its biggest lead, 81-48 (23 points), on a layup from freshman forward Xavier Tillman with 3:04 to play in the game.
Jackson hit 10-of-14 shots from the floor, including tying a career-high with five 3-piont field goals, added six rebounds, three assists and three blocked shots.
Two other players reached double figures in scoring ... Winston hit four 3-pointers and finished with 12 points, five rebounds and five assists ... Sophomore forward Nick Ward scored 13 points and added nine rebounds.
Michigan State shot 63.6 percent from 3-point land (14-of-22) and hit 53.3 percent of its field goals overall (32-of-60).
In the first half, the Spartans hit 83.3 percent of their 3-point attempts (10-of-12).
After scoring only six points in the paint in the first half, the Spartans scored 24 in the second half, with Ward scoring 11 of his 13 points during the final 20 minutes.
The Spartans outrebounded Minnesota, 49-24, and collected 15 offensive rebounds.
MSU handed out 27 assists on 32 made field goals.
Michigan State's 25-3 overall record is the best 28-game start in program history.
This was the 22nd time this season that Jackson reached double figures in scoring and the second game with at least 20 points ... Winston reached double figures for the 22nd time this season and Ward had double figures for the 18th time.
MSU scored at least 80 points for the 16th time this season ... The Spartans are 15-1 when they score at least 80 points.
This was the eighth time this season that Michigan State has held an opponent below 60 points, the fourth against a Big Ten opponent.
Among the nation's leaders in field goal percentage defense, MSU held Minnesota to 32.2 percent shooting, the 18th opponent to shoot below 40 percent.
The Spartans hit a season-high 63.6 percent of their 3-point field goals, the best percentage since hitting 64.7 percent at Nebraska (11-of-17) on February 2, 2017.
MSU hit 14 3-pointers, the third-most in a game this season, and the eighth time the team has hit at least 10.
The team collected 49 rebounds and held a +26 advantage on the boards ... It was the 15th game this season with at least 40 rebounds.
The Spartans had 27 assists on 32 field goals (84.4 percent), the 14th game this season with at least 20 assists.
Michigan State's bench scored 24 points for the second time ... The reserves have scored at least 20 points in three of the last four games and it was the ninth time this season MSU has received at least 20 points from the bench.
Michigan State hits the road again this weekend, playing at Northwestern (15-12, 6-8) on Saturday, Feb. 17. Tipoff at Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Ill. is slated for 2 p.m. (ET). The game will air live on FOX, with Gus Johnson calling the play-by-play, Steve Lavin the color analyst and Lisa Byington on sidelines.