Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Michigan # 10 Escapes Minnesota’s Bad Bid With Last Second Shot

EAST LANCING, Michigan. Joey Hauser shot from a low post with a tenth of a second left, lifting Michigan’s number 10 to a 71-69 win over Minnesota on Wednesday night for his ninth straight win.

The Spartans (14-2, Big Ten 5-0) had the ball with 18.1 seconds left, while A.J. Hoggard hit the track in the final seconds to put Hauser, who was so scolded, on the last basket.

“I was happy for Joey and the players were happy for Joey,” said coach Tom Izzo. “I appreciate all the fans who chanted his name.”

Michigan State freshman Max Christie scored 16 points, Gabe Brown scored 13 points, and Tyson Walker added 10 points.

The Gophers (10-4, 1-4) were very competitive throughout the game and had the ability to handle draft.

Minnesota’s chances of winning were diminished when Eric Curry injured his left ankle a minute before the end, leaving him on the bench with 19 points.

“EC got the ankle pretty good,” said coach Ben Johnson. “I don’t know the extent of this.

“If Eric can leave, Eric will go. He is a grown man. He is sort of the leader of our team and he did a great job to show that. ”

Eilijah Stevens scored 18 points, Payton Willis 15 and Jamison Buttle added 13 points to the Gophers. Stevens landed four free throws late, which tied the team to 69.

The Spartans started well, but were unable to succeed against a scattered team.

The Spartans were leading 27-17 at the end of the first half, but they were careless and Minnesota took advantage of their deficit to three by halftime.

The Gophers scored seven points in a row, five without losses and took the lead with a score of 52-51 in the middle of the second half. Michigan went six points ahead a couple of times, but failed to beat Minnesota.

“I don’t think I’ve ever played a game where 52% of shots from the field, 43% from three-pointers and almost 85% from the line could be lost,” Izzo said.

Michigan beat Minnesota 75-67 at Minneapolis at the conference opening for both teams last month.

“They got to know Big Ten basketball,” Johnson said. “It was the first game like Welcome to the Show. I didn’t feel like we responded well.

“We have gradually figured out how to play in this league in order to give ourselves a chance with physical and psychological stability. We are in the process of growing with many guys who have never been here. This is the fun part of this group because you can see how it develops. ”

MAIN GAME

Minnesota defender Luke Lowe was called in for a blatant foul for knocking Brown off his feet while Michigan was leading 42-40 from 15:18 to finish. Brown threw two free throws and Walker threw one simple shot, making him a four-pointer.

BIG PICTURE

Minnesota: Johnson was disappointed that his team did not win, but was proud of how well and well his team played against a top 10 opponent away.

“If you play like that, with that kind of intensity, aggressiveness and connection, we’ll have a fun other half,” Johnson said.

Michigan State: Izzo’s team took care of a relatively light schedule, beating Gophers, Penn State, Northwestern and Nebraska twice.

“I know what’s going to happen,” Izzo said. “I know we need to get better.”

FACE IN THE CROWD

Hall of Famer Roy Williams and his wife Wanda took up court seating across from Michigan’s bench and were with the Spartans in the dressing room after the game.

“He had to remind me that we are 14-2,” Izzo said.

Williams retired last April, winning over 900 games and three national titles in North Carolina and Kansas. He watched as the ninth-placed Jayhawks beat Iowa’s No. 15 62–61 on Tuesday night.

“He called me a couple of weeks ago and said he wanted to visit six or seven places,” Izzo said.

To sum up

Michigan State’s previous game against rival Michigan last Saturday was delayed because Wolverine had fewer than seven Fellows who passed COVID-19 protocols to play. This could lead to the fact that the Spartans at times lacked energy against Minnesota.

“We are parting with a disappointing lack of play and that’s no excuse,” Izzo said.

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