The University of Minnesota men's basketball team (9-5, 1-2) defeated Michigan State (9-7, 1-3) 77-69 today in Williams Arena. The Gophers jumped out to a 17-point lead in the first half and never looked back. The Golden Gophers got a combination of 42 points from Rick Rickert and Michael Bauer to give the Maroon and Gold their first Big Ten victory of the season.
Minnesota took advantage of Michigan State's 31.6 percent field goal shooting and 17 turnovers by shooting 41.5 percent from the field on 22-of-53 shooting and scoring 13 points off turnovers. Defensively, Minnesota was strong with eight blocks, four from Bauer and two from Rickert.
Minnesota was strong in the first half and capitalized on poor Michigan State shooting. The Spartans shot just 31 percent on 9-of- 29. Minnesota capped an 11-0 run as Michael Bauer made three-pointer at 6:07 to bring the lead to 18, the largest of the half. Michigan State followed with a 13-4 run of its own to cut Minnesota's lead to nine. The Maroon and Gold finished the half shooting 42 percent from the field, led by Rickert and Bauer who combined for 25 of the team's 37 first half points.
Bauer and Rickert each finished the game with 21 points. Bauer tied a career record with four blocks and this marked a new career high for scoring in Big Ten games. Rickert added six rebounds and Aaron Robinson had a career- best six assists.
Leading the way for Michigan State was Aloysius Anagonye with double- double, 11 points and 12 rebounds. Kelvin Torbert added 12 points and six rebounds.
Next up for Minnesota is Michigan on Wednesday, Jan. 22 at 7:00 p.m. in Ann Arbor, Mich.
Minnesota leads the all-time series 55-46, including vacated games. Minnesota leads the series in Minneapolis 34-16...Minnesota is 2-3 against Michigan State under Dan Monson...This afternoon's attendance of 14,617 is the largest of the season. It's the largest crowd since drawing 14,854 (above capacity) against Wisconsin on 2/16.02...Michael Bauer scored Minnesota's first seven points. Bauer and Rick Rickert scored the first 17 points for the Gophers...Minnesota went on a 21-2 run over a 6:10 span in the first half...Bauer's 21 points are his career-high in a Big Ten game...Bauer scored 20+ points for the third time this season and the fourth time in his career. Minnesota is 4-0 when Bauer scores 20 points or more...Bauer scored in double figures for the third straight game and the 10th time this season. He has scored in double figures 41 times in his career...Bauer scored his 700th career point in the first half...Bauer moved into ninth place all-time at Minnesota with 83 career blocks. Quincy Lewis is eighth with 93...Bauer tied a career-high with four blocks...Bauer attempted a career-high 11 three-point field goals, making five...Rickert topped the 20-point mark for the fourth time this season and the 10th time in his career. Minnesota is 9-1 when Rickert reaches 20 points or more...Rickert scored in double figures for the sixth straight game and the 10th time this season. He has 32 double-digit games in his career...Aaron Robinson had a career-best six assists. Robinson also played a career-high 18 minutes...Maurice Hargrow scored in double figures for the 12th time in 14 games this season..Jerry Holman grabbed his 200th career rebound in the second half.
Dan Monson - Minnesota Head Coach
"This was definitely a big win for us in the context that we, as a team and individuals, have been struggling with our confidence. We kept telling them that it would be o.k. and their shots would start to fall, but they have to feel the success in order to believe that. Like I said before this was an important team win for us because it helps build confidence in our players."
"We did not know we would win this game, but we are a good team and we needed to just find which direction we would take and how that will happen. Jerry Holman played 12 minutes and had only two points and the character of this team showed with guys stepping up and playing their game. Michael Bauer and Rick Rickert kept taking shots that were going in. We wanted to just bring it at them and see how the shots fell."
"We were worn down in the second half, both offensively and defensively. We need to work on being more consistent on the boards as the games go on. We played well in segments, but that will not get us to where we want to be. We need to start playing more consistently. This was our best Big Ten effort by far."
On Aaron Robinson
"Aaron plays with a lot of confidence. He pursues rebounds without hesitation and his minutes are invaluable."
On Michael Bauer
"Michael is the most emotional player on the team. We are working on getting that emotion channeled and focused in the right direction. He gave us an important start today and the players feed off him and his emotion. Today he did a great job on the perimeter, offensively and defensively."
Tom Izzo - Michigan State Head Coach
"Today's game looked like the same old story. We had a below average start to the game. We started by giving Bauer the first shot which got him going. Give them credit, they hit shots. Give credit to our guys for bouncing back. We got some big rebounds. We had 11 turnovers in the first half, but only 6 in the second. We played better in the second half."
On MSU's road troubles
"Just missing open shots and missing critical free throws, we can't win on the road that way. This was a physical game. It was tough with the foul trouble. We have to find a way to be better than we have been. I guess that's my job."
"This is our third road game [in the Big Ten]. We can't get over the injury bug. Those two factors change things. They're excuses, but they're reality. We lost games on the road, but this was the worst. We're in a deep hole [at 1-3]; we can't worry about that. We have to get ready for Penn State and regroup."
Minnesota Forward - Michael Bauer
"We were really hungry coming into this game. Coming off our worst game of the season against Wisconsin, we saw the writing on the wall if we would have lost this game. I'm really proud with how this team came together and with the overall performance we put on today."
"We really needed to pick up the intensity in the second half after they made a run on us to end the first. I think the first five minutes of the second half were crutial because we retook control of the game."
"Today was one of those days where I was able to feed off of the crowd. Every shot I made I heard them chant my name and that made me want to make another one for them. Coach gave me the greenllight to shoot when I was open and I am thankful I was able to knock down those shots."
Minnesota Guard - Aaron Robinson
"I tried to provide energy for this game when I got in the game today. We started out the game kind of slow and I was able to see our play pick up once I came in. It was just a matter of pushing the ball up the court and making smart decisions."
"Winning this game is a big relief for this team. If we would have lost, we would have been at the bottom of the standings. With this win , we are right back in the thick of things."
Minnesota Forward - Rick Rickert
"This was a typical Big Ten game. We had a big lead, lost it, regained control and then toughed it out at the end. We were fortunate to knock down open shots and keep the pressure on them at the end of the game."
"I was a little frustrated with my free throw shooting today. Shooting 50 percent is never going to get it done. I need to shoot a few free throws before I leave today."