Detroit Free Press
National Basketball Association
BOXSCORE | RECAP
Michigan St 75, Minnesota 74
When: 9:00 PM ET, Tuesday, December 27, 2016
Where: Williams Arena, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Officials: # Gene Steratore, # Tom Eades, # Ted Valentine
Attendance: 11407

Senior guard Alvin Ellis scored 20 points, including a pair of free throws that gave Michigan State the lead with 10.5 seconds to play in overtime, and the Spartans pulled out a 75-74 comeback road win over Minnesota on Tuesday in the Big Ten opener for both teams at Williams Arena in Minneapolis.

Freshman forward Nick Ward had a big game in the paint, scoring 22 points, grabbing 10 rebounds and blocking four shots to help the Spartans erase a 13-point halftime deficit and snap Minnesota's six-game winning streak.

Sophomore forward Jordan Murphy had a double-double with 12 points and 21 rebounds for the Gophers, who lost at home for the first time this season despite outscoring Michigan State 31-10 at the foul line.

The Gophers (12-2, 0-1 Big Ten) led for the majority of the game before the Spartans surged in the second half. Michigan State (9-5, 1-0) used a 15-0 run, highlighted by Ward's two-handed dunk off of an inbounds play and a 3-pointer by Ellis, to tie the game 55-55 with seven minutes to play.

Freshman guard Amir Coffey and sophomore guard Dupree McBrayer had big first halves, each scoring 10 points for Minnesota. Coffey hit a 3-pointer with a minute left that gave the Gophers their largest lead of the first half, 39-24. Ward had nine points and five rebounds to keep the Spartans somewhat close. He hit a basket on a nice post move to cut the lead to 13 at halftime (39-26).

It's a big win for Michigan State after what has an uneven start for coach Tom Izzo's Spartans. Michigan State lost at home to Northeastern on Dec. 18 and was without leading scorer and rebounder Miles Bridges for a sixth straight game. The star freshman is batting an ankle injury.
Top Game Performances
 
Michigan St   Minnesota
Nick Ward 22 Scoring Nate Mason 18
Cassius Winston 6 Assists Nate Mason 4
Nick Ward 10 Rebounds Jordan Murphy 21
Nick Ward 4 Free Throws Made Nate Mason 7
Joshua Langford 2 Steals Amir Coffey 2
Nick Ward 4 Blocks Bakary Konate 2
Team Stats Summary
 
Team Points FG% 3PM-3PA FTM-FTA Assists Rebounds Blocks Steals Turnovers
Michigan St 75 45.5 5-18 10-22 17 35 7 9 12
Minnesota 74 37.7 3-13 31-45 11 43 8 5 15