Freshman forward Jaren Jackson Jr. erupted for a career-high 27 points, and No. 2 Michigan State extended its winning streak to nine games by overwhelming Minnesota 87-57 on Tuesday in Minneapolis.
Jackson added six rebounds, three assists and three blocks. His previous high point total was 21 against Illinois last month.
Nick Ward bounced back from committing six first-half turnovers to contribute 13 points and nine rebounds for Michigan State (25-2, 13-2 Big Ten). He didn’t give the ball away in the second half.
Cassius Winston had 12 points, five assists and five rebounds for the Spartans, who led by double digits the last 35 minutes.
The Spartans didn’t need much production from their usual top scorer, Miles Bridges, who wound up with five points and made only 1 of 7 field-goal attempts.
Isaiah Washington’s 18 points led the Gophers (14-14, 3-12), who have lost eight straight. Jordan Murphy had 16 points, seven rebounds and four steals, and Nate Mason added 14 points for Minnesota, which was missing four of its top players due to injuries and suspensions.
Michigan State shot 53.3 percent from the field and held Minnesota to 32.2 percent shooting. The Spartans were especially sharp from outside, connecting on 14 of 22 3-point tries (63.6 percent), and they recorded assists on 27 of 32 made field goals.
The Spartans also dominated the boards with a 49-22 advantage.
Jackson scored 16 points in the first half and the Spartans grabbed a 43-25 halftime lead. Michigan State made all but two of its 12 3-point attempts before the break.
The Spartans sank their first six 3-point attempts, the first three by Winston, to quickly establish a double-digit advantage. Winston’s fourth 3-pointer made it 30-12 with 8:51 left in the half. Jackson drilled another one just over six minutes later, giving the Spartans a 36-18 lead.
Jackson upped his 3-point total to four just over a minute later.
The Gophers never got closer than 13 points in the second half. Ward’s dunk off a Jackson interior feed extended Michigan State’s lead past the 20-point mark, and Jackson quickly followed with another long-distance shot.
—Field Level Media