#12 ranked Michigan State (18-6, 6-4) suffered its fourth conference loss of the season to Minnesota (12-9, 3-7) by a final tally of 69-55. The feisty Gophers were able to stifle the Spartans on defense holding them to just 40 percent from the field.
"I thought they played extremely hard and physical, we played very tentative and didn't seem to be sharp today," Coach Izzo said.
Michigan State was limited from their outside attack on Saturday, they were only allowed to 3-12 shooting from behind the arc in Saturday's contest. Minnesota played great perimeter defense against the Spartans which and only gave up 55 points against one of the most potent offenses in the nation. Michigan State was plagued by turnovers; they committed 14 compared to the Gophers only eight.
After leading 3-2 in the first two minutes of the game the Spartans didn't retain the lead until 15 minutes left in the second half. Shannon Brown got hot and Michigan State looked to be on the brim of pulling away but Minnesota didn't quit and kept coming after the Spartans.
The Spartans were led by Shannon Brown with 19 points and 6 rebounds. Brown was 8-14 from the field but was only 1-5 from three-point range. Center Paul Davis added 17 points while shooting a perfect 5-5 from the free-throw line.
"I'm disappointed and I think it's my responsibility that we weren't ready," said Izzo.
The loss put the Spartans two games behind the Iowa Hawkeyes in the Big Ten race and Izzo knows the importance of winning the conference.
Maurice Ager failed to give the Spartans the offensive firepower they're looking for, he was held to just six points.
"They did a good job on Maurice and we didn't get a good job getting him open that comes from poor screening" Izzo said.
The Spartans will have a date in Iowa City on Tuesday night against the first-place Iowa Hawkeyes on Valentine's Day. Michigan State played against Iowa at the Breslin Center and had no problem beating them in a blow-out game.