|Mateen Cleaves scored 19 points in the win over Minnesota.|
Jan. 14, 1998
Spartans Beat Minnesota, 74-60
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Mateen Cleaves scored 15 of his 19 points in the second half and Michigan State turned up its best-in-the-Big Ten defense to beat Minnesota 74-60 on Wednesday night.
The Spartans opened the game by missing 12 of their first 15 shots, but they hit 59 percent in the second half to win for the fifth time in six games.
Michigan State (10-4, 3-1 Big Ten) also got 14 points from Jason Klein and 11 from Morris Peterson, who played with a soft cast on his right wrist.
Quincy Lewis, playing with his left thumb heavily wrapped, scored 17 points for Minnesota (7-8, 0-4), which has lost its first four conference games for the first time since opening 0-5 in 1987-88.
The Golden Gophers, who played their third straight game without injured leading scorer Sam Jacobson, also are under .500 for the second time this season. Before that they hadn't had a losing record since 1990-91.
Freshman Kyle Sanden had 15 for the Gophers, who shot just 33 percent after halftime.
Minnesota took advantage of Michigan State's cold start to open a 15-7 lead on consecutive 3-pointers by Kevin Clark and Lewis.
But the Gophers missed their next 12 shots and went scoreless for a 7:44 stretch as the Spartans went on a 10-0 run to take their only lead of the first half, 17-15 on two free throws by Charlie Bell with 6:15 left before halftime.
Sanden scored six early in the second half as the Gophers extended their 26-24 halftime lead to 34-28. Michigan State scored the next seven, including a tip in and a 3-pointer by Peterson, to take its first lead of the second half at 37-36.
Lewis gave Minnesota its last lead, 47-46 with 9:23 to play, but the Gophers managed just one basket in the next 6:44 as Michigan State pulled away.
Cleaves gave the Spartans the lead for good with 9:12 remaining, and he scored seven straight points before Antonio Smith made two free throws with 44 seconds remaining. Klein scored Michigan State's last five points on free throws.