Keith Appling and Brandon Wood both scored 13 points to key No. 6 Michigan State's 66-61 victory over Minnesota on Wednesday night, helping the Spartans keep their hold on first
place in the Big Ten.
Draymond Green had 17 points, five rebounds, five assists and four steals for the Spartans (23-5, 12-3), who won their sixth straight game in February.
Austin Hollins scored 17 points on 4-for-6 shooting from 3-point range for the Gophers (17-11, 5-10), who led for more than 18 minutes of the second half until a flurry of late turnovers.
The Gophers outrebounded bigger Michigan State 33-27 and made 14 of their 15 free throws, but they still couldn't pull out a must-win game for their dying NCAA tournament hopes.
The Gophers fell to 1-11 against Michigan State under Smith.
Their only win was in the 2010 Big Ten tournament.
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