Spartans Win Big Ten Opener on the Road

By: AP
By: AP

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Kalin Lucas scored a career-high 24 points, Chris Allen added 13 and No. 10 Michigan State beat Minnesota 70-58 Wednesday to hand the 21st-ranked Gophers their first loss of the season.
In the Big Ten opener for both teams, Michigan State (10-2) wore down Minnesota by repeatedly attacking the basket and clogging the lane defensively.
Al Nolen led Minnesota (12-1) with 14 points, and Lawrence Westbrook added 11. Minnesota missed its chance to improve to 13-0 and match the mark set by the 1948-49 team.
The Spartans outrebounded the Gophers 49-27 and outscored them 28-18 in the paint. Minnesota shot a season-low 39.6-percent from the floor, often settling for long-range jumpers.
The game was tied at 30 early in the second half before the Spartans outscored the Gophers 18-6. Minnesota struggled to play catch-up the rest of the way.
Goran Suton had 11 points and 12 rebounds for Michigan State, while Raymar Morgan had 10 and 10.
The Spartans' only losses this season are to Maryland and North Carolina.
The scrappy Gophers led only once, 2-0, and stayed close for much of the game despite their poor shooting. Michigan State led by as many as nine early. Minnesota closed to 30-29 at halftime by going 6-for-8 from the floor after starting the game by missing 10 of its first 12 shots.
The Gophers went cold again to start the second half and couldn't keep pace as the Spartans build their lead. Lucas, whose previous career-high was 20 points, scored 15 points in the second half.
The Spartans have beaten the Gophers in nine of their last 10 meetings. Minnesota hasn't beaten Michigan State since Feb. 11, 2006. is happy to provide a forum for commenting and discussion. Please respect and abide by the house rules:

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