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BriefCap: Michigan State 66, Minnesota 61: Yakkety Sax'd


Boy, it didn't feel like Michigan State won this game as much as Minnesota lost it, am I right? With about six minutes left in this game, I had a completely emo post prepared for you. Not just Dashboard Confessional emo, like "Swiss Army Romance Dashboard Confessional while we draw X's on our hands, pretend we're straight edge, and cry ourselves to sleep" emo. It was that bad. Minnesota was making nearly every drive to the hoop, knocking down a fair amount of threes to boot, and generally frustrating MSU inside with a 2-3 zone into dumb shots.

So what changed the game around? First, Brandon Wood. While his teammates appeared to be frustrated, Wood maintained his cool, making drives to the basket and had a key steal and dunk late in the 2nd half to bring the defecit to two. Wood had 13 points in the game. Second, MSU kept pounding inside in the second half and drawing fouls; even when the inside offense wouldn't work, the Spartans made enough free throws (17-23) to keep it close throughout most of the second half.

Lastly and most importantly, the turnovers. Michigan State only turned it over five times today, whilst the Golden Gophers turned it over 14 times, with five of those coming in the final four minutes. The final four minutes were a sight to behold, as MSU played calmly and within themselves, and the Golden Gophers made bad pass after bad pass to give the ball back. Eventually he Spartans had the ball with less than 40 seconds left, the game tied, the shot clock under 5. It was then when lo, the angels did give MSU a gift in the form of Rodney Williams committing a blocking foul on Keith Appling, who didst sank yon free throws from yonder to help the Spartans prevail.

In short: MSU played mediocre, they still won, and they're still in sole possession of first place. Draymond Green continued his march toward Big Ten Player of the Year honors with 17 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 steals. All is still well.