Photo: Matt Krohn ~ USA TODAY Sports
MINNEAPOLIS, MN, Feb. 7, 2024 ~ The Michigan State Spartans were defeated by the Minnesota Golden Gophers 59-56 in the second matchup between the two teams at Williams Arena in Minneapolis.
The Spartans were slow to start this one, trailing by seven about halfway through the first half. Tyson Walker and Jaden Akins would each hit a three-pointer to tie up the score, propelling the Spartans to a five-point lead going into the half.
Walker and Akins were the Spartans driving force offensively against the Golden Gophers, combining for 36 points.
As the Spartans approached the halfway point of the second half, they had managed to build up a nine-point lead. Unfortunately for the “Green and White,” Walker was forced to exit the game momentarily due to an apparent injury.
In the short time Walker was out, the Golden Gophers managed to go on a 10-0 run led by Minnesota’s Cam Christie. Christie shot an impressive four for five from deep in the second half.
Within the final minute and a half of regulation, the Golden Gophers hit a three, making it a three-point game. Spartans’ A.J. Hoggard would then get fouled on a three-point attempt, sending him to the free throw line where he went two for three.
Hoggard, unable to tie up the score, put Michigan State in a position where they were forced to foul. Minnesota would hit their free throws, ultimately ending the Minneapolis showdown.
Michigan State currently only has one win on the road as they fall to an even six wins and six losses in the Big Ten Conference. The Spartans return home to battle the Illinois Fighting Illini on Saturday. Coverage starts at 1 p.m. on 760 WJR.