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Spartans 'steal a game' to maintain their Big Ten lead

Michigan State’s Keith Appling, right, gets off a pass around Minnesota’s Julian Welch during the first half.

Associated Press

Michigan State’s Keith Appling, right, gets off a pass around Minnesota’s Julian Welch during the first half.

MINNEAPOLIS — Outsmarted, outhustled and outrebounded for most of the game, Michigan State snapped back to stun Minnesota.

Between laments, Spartans coach Tom Izzo offered due praise. Sometimes, the most important wins aren't pretty.

Keith Appling and Brandon Wood scored 13 each to key No. 6 Michigan State's 66-61 victory Wednesday night, helping the Spartans win their sixth straight game and keep their one-game lead in the Big Ten.

"When you're trying to be in a championship run, you've got to steal a game somewhere," Izzo said.

Draymond Green had 17 points, five rebounds, five assists and four steals for the Spartans (23-5, 12-3). Green's only second-half basket was a pump-fake layup that rolled on the rim and in to tie it at 58 with 1:40 left.

"Anytime you can get a road win, no matter how ugly it is, it means a lot," Green said. "Especially how the race is now."

The Gophers led for more than 18 minutes of the second half until a flurry of late turnovers; 12 of their 15 came after halftime.

NO. 4 KANSAS 66, TEXAS A&M 58: Elijah Johnson scored 21 and Tyshawn Taylor made key plays down the stretch to help the visiting Jayhawks (23-5, 13-2 Big 12) fight off a late Aggies run.

NO. 10 MARQUETTE 82, RUTGERS 65: Jae Crowder scored 27 and Darius Johnson-Odom 21 for the host Golden Eagles (23-5, 12-3), who won their fourth straight game and 11th in 12 to stay tied for second place in the Big East with Notre Dame.

NO. 19 WICHITA ST. 68, ILLINOIS ST. 55: Joe Ragland had 14 points for the visiting Shockers (25-4, 15-2), who clinched the Missouri Valley Conference championship.

NO. 20 NOTRE DAME 71, W. VA. 44: Jerian Grant scored 20 for the host Irish (20-8, 12-3 Big East), who shot 61 percent and won their ninth straight game.

NO. 22 TEMPLE 80, LA SALLE 79, OT: Ramone Moore scored five of his 18 in overtime to help the host Owls (22-5, 11-2 Atlantic 10) to their 11th straight win.

NO. 23 INDIANA 75, N.C. CENTRAL 56: Cody Zeller had 17 points and seven rebounds and Victor Oladipo scored 16 for the host Hoosiers (21-7).

RICE 83, UCF 74: The visiting Knights (19-8, 8-5 C-USA) blew a 15-point first-half lead, committing 10 turnovers and allowing the Owls to shoot 59.8 percent in the second half.

FLA. SOUTHERN 85, TAMPA 76: The host Moccasins outrebounded the Spartans (6-19, 2-13 Sunshine State) 40-28 to overcome Ashton Graham's career-high 32 points.

SAINT LEO 58, ECKERD 49: Trent Thomas had 18 points as the host Lions (15-10, 9-6 SSC) won their sixth straight game and handed the Tritons (18-7, 10-5) their second straight loss.

yeguete out for season: Florida forward Will Yeguete will miss the rest of the season with a broken foot. He is the team's best post defender and the rebounding co-leader.

SURGERY FOR CALHOUN: UConn coach Jim Calhoun will have surgery next week to address a lower back condition and miss the next two games. The Hall of Fame coach, on a medical leave of absence since Feb. 3, will then be re-evaluated.

Women

FLA. SOUTHERN 78, TAMPA 46: The host Moccasins shot 50 percent from the field and outrebounded the Spartans (10-15, 3-12 Sunshine State) 40-30.

ECKERD 65, SAINT LEO 61, 2OT: Krystal Charles had 24 points and Kati Rausberg scored the game's final five to lead the visiting Tritons (14-10, 7-8 SSC) over the Lions (7-18, 1-14).

NO. 19 ST. BONAVENTURE 52, FORDHAM 45: Jessica Jenkins had 17 points as the host Bonnies (26-2, 13-0 Atlantic 10) extended their program-record winning streak to 15 games.

NO. 1 BAYLOR: Sophomore guard Shanay Washington tore the anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee, her fifth torn ACL including her right one twice.

Spartans 'steal a game' to maintain their Big Ten lead 02/22/12 [Last modified: Thursday, February 23, 2012 12:21am]
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