#1 Spartan Basketball Returns to Their Winning Ways Downing Gophers 69-61

Photo courtesy of Mark Boomgaard
Photo courtesy of Mark Boomgaard

After a 13-0 program record start for the Spartans they fell to Iowa 83-70 earlier this week. That didn’t matter today as the Spartans traveled to the legendary “Barn” of the Minnesota Golden Gophers and came out with a 69-61 win to improve their record to 14-1.

Behind a 20 point, six rebound and three assist performance by Bryn Forbes, Matt Costello stepped up to make sure that the presence of super star Denzel Valentine wouldn’t cost the Spartan in a game they should have been able to win without him. Senior Costello had career highs of 17 points and 15 boards and Eron Harris and Deyonta Davis where the only two other Spartans to score double digits and both had 10 points respectively.

Future Hall of Fame Coach Tom Izzo was given the game by Valentine after the game in honor of his father Carl’s death last week. The Coach said of his team, “We're still nowhere near the team that we need to be or I think we'll be. It's hard to say it's a big win, because I shouldn't be looking at it that way, but it is right now."

MSU won the battle of the boards 45-33. MSU shot 49% while holding the Gophers to 34%. The Spartans continued to be unselfish dishing out 16 assists on 24 baskets. Gavin Schilling got his first start of the year adding eight points and being a pivotal key in the Spartans defensive attack.

MSU has won 20 of the last 24 games vs. the lowly Gophers, but minus Valentine this was special. The Spartans are looking for Valentine to possibly return one week from Sunday at Penn State. MSU faces the Illini at the Breslin Center this Thursday. That game tips at 9 PM and can be seen on ESPN.