Spartans escape Williams Arena with a 78-73 win. Only caught pieces of this game on the radio, so straight to the box score:
- 18 turnovers for MSU in a 69-possession game (26.1%). Not terrible given how good the Gophers have been at forcing turnovers. But from what I heard on the radio, it sounds like the turnovers were more of the unforced error variety than a result of the Minnesota full court press. If this is the case, that’s disconcerting.
- Nice shooting game for Neitzel in classic Neitzel style: held to points in the first half, hits five 3-pointers in the second half to finish with 19 games. Only 1 assist vs. 5 turnovers, though–not so Neitzelesque.
- 3-point shooting was clearly a key. 8-15 for MSU vs. 5-14 for Minnesota. For the second straight game, Lucas and Allen helped keep the defense honest. They combined to shoot 3-6 from beyond the arc. Joe Rexrode expects Allen to continue to get minutes vs. the zone defenses of Northwestern and UM in the next two games (he got 14 minutes tonight vs. 5 for Summers).
- Dismal score line for Morgan for the second straight game. 9 points on 2-6 FG shootng and 5-12 FT shooting. And most of those points came late. He missed his first seven FT attempts.
- Spartanlike effort on the offensive boards: 13 out of 31 opportunities (41.9%). Suton had 6 offensive boards, 13 total.
- Only 8 minutes for Gray. Maybe it was a match-up thing, but he appears to be in the doghouse.
The absence of Al Nolen for the Gophers makes this slightly less impressive, as it appears Lawrence Westbrook struggled at point guard for Minnesota (3 assists vs. 5 TOs). But coming off 11 losses in our last 12 road games, we’ll definitely take it. MSU again found multiple ways to score down the stretch and maintain their lead.
Per usual, we await eye-witness accounts from those of you in BTN land.
Next game: Thursday at 9:00 in Evanston. ESPN2.