No. 9 Michigan State Hosts Minnesota on Saturday at Breslin Center

By  | 

East Lansing, Mich. – Michigan State’s men’s basketball team returns home to host Minnesota on Saturday, Feb. 9 (2 p.m.) at the Breslin Center. After a stretch of five games on the road in seven games during mid-January and early February, the Spartans will play three of their next four games at home.
On the Air
The game will air live on ESPN2, with Jason Benetti calling the play-by-play and Dan Dakich serving as the color analyst. The Spartan Sports Network radio call can be heard on one of 38 affiliates and on the web at, with Will Tieman handling the play-by-play and Matt Steigenga serving as the color analyst. The game can also be heard on Sirius 134, XM 195 and Internet 957.
Michigan State, which has lost its last three games, enters the game on Saturday with an 18-5 overall record and a 9-3 mark in the Big Ten. The Spartans are ranked No. 9 in the country in the Associated Press poll and No. 11 in the USA Today Coaches poll. Minnesota, which has lost its last two games and four of the last seven overall, enters the game with a 16-7 overall record and a 6-6 mark in league play.
1979 NCAA Championship Team to be Recognized
Michigan State’s 1979 NCAA Championship team will be recognized on the 40th Anniversary of the program’s first National Championship ... In the Final Four, MSU beat Pennsylvania, a No. 9 seed, with Earvin “Magic” Johnson recording his second triple-double of the tournament ... In the championship game, the Spartans took on No. 1-ranked and unbeaten Indiana State, led by Larry Bird ... MSU jumped out to a big first-half lead en route to a 75-64 win ... Greg Kelser and Johnson were both named to the All-Tournament Team, while Johnson was named Most Outstanding Player.
Last Time Out
No. 9 Michigan State came back from a 14-point second half deficit to take a three-point lead, but Illinois used a late run en route to a 74-70 win over the Spartans on Tuesday night at State Farm Center … Junior guard Cassius Winston (Detroit, Mich./University of Detroit Jesuit) scored 21 points and had nine assists to lead the way for MSU, while sophomore forward Xavier Tillman (Grand Rapids, Mich./GR Christian) tallied a career-high 16 points and eight rebounds, redshirt junior Kyle Ahrens (Versailles, Ohio/Versailles) had 11 points, seven rebounds and three assists and junior forward Nick Ward (Gahanna, Ohio/Lincoln) chipped in 11 points.
About the Spartans
• Through 23 games, Winston leads the team with 18.9 points per game and 7.3 assists per game ... Winston is tied for third in the Big Ten in scoring and is No. 5 in the country in assists per game.
• Ward is second on the team with 15.2 points and third on the team with 6.6 rebounds ... He is 13th in the Big Ten in scoring, 16th in rebounding and ranks fifth in the league, and is No. 23 nationally in field goal percentage, connecting on 61.0 percent of his shots.
• Senior guard Matt McQuaid (Duncanville, Texas/Duncanville) is averaging 8.3 points, 2.9 rebounds and 2.1 assists.
• Tillman is scoring 8.7 points per game, is second on the team with 7.0 rebounds and is fourth in the Big Ten in field goal percentage (63.3 percent).
• Redshirt senior Kenny Goins (Troy, Mich./Warren Mott) is sixth on the team in scoring with 7.3 points and leads the team with 9.2 rebounds per game, which ranks No. 38 nationally.
• Ahrens is averaging 5.9 points and 2.8 rebounds (7.5 ppg, 3.6 rpg in eight starts) and freshman Aaron Henry (Indianapolis, Ind./Ben Davis) is averaging 4.9 points and 2.9 rebounds.
• MSU ranks No. 27 in the country in scoring offense (82.0 ppg), No. 10 in field goal percentage (49.4%) and No. 4 in field goal percentage defense (37.1%).
The Series
• Michigan State and Minnesota meet for the 130th time on Saturday afternoon ... The Spartans lead the all-time series with Minnesota, 69-60.
• MSU is 42-20 all-time at home against Minnesota, including a 22-3 record at the Breslin Center ... The Spartans have won 18 of the last 22, 23 of the last 28, and 29 of the last 35 meetings.
• Tom Izzo has a 31-11 all-time record against the Golden Gophers ... Three of the last five contests have gone into overtime, including the last two at Breslin Center.
About Minnesota
• Minnesota is 1-5 on the road, including a 1-4 mark in conference play.
• Junior guard Amir Coffey leads the team in scoring with 15.8 points per game, while adding 3.2 rebounds and 2.9 assists.
• Senior forward Jordan Murphy is second on the team with 14.9 points and leads the team (and the conference) with 12.1 rebounds per game.
• Freshman center Daniel Oturu is third on the team with 10.7 points and second with 7.5 rebounds, while freshman guard Gabe Kalscheur is averaging 10.0 points and leads the team with 47 3-pointers.
• Senior guard Dupree McBrayer is averaging 9.6 points and 3.1 assists in 30.8 minutes.
• Minnesota is tied for seventh in the league in scoring offense (73.3 ppg) and is 12th in scoring defense (69.7 ppg).