For the third Big Ten game in a row, the Spartans found themselves down big in first half, battled back in the second half only to come up short.
MSU (9-7 overall, 1-3 Big Ten) fell 77-68 to Minnesota at Williams Arena, the loss is the fourth in a row for the Spartans.
Minnesota capitalized on Spartan turnovers and managed to pull away every time MSU got close.
The Spartans turned the ball over 17 times, 12 coming in the first half and shot just 34 percent from the field. It is the second game in a row the Spartans have shot below 35 percent. Against Purdue on Tuesday, MSU shot 32 percent.
MSU again battled back in the second half, but did not have enough to dig itself out of the hole.
MSU cut the lead to four, following a free throw by freshman Maurice Ager. The Golden Gophers made eight free throws down the stretch to ice the game.
Forwards Michael Bauer and Rick Rickert provided most of the Gophers offense. Bauer and Rickert each poured in 21 points to lead Minnesota to its first Big Ten win of the season.
The 6-foot-8 Bauer, one of the Big Tens best sixth men, got the start and didnt disappoint. The junior finished the game 7-of-12 from the field, including five from behind the three-point line.
Rickert, a 6-11 forward, put up similar numbers making 7-of-18 from the field, 2-of-5 from three-point land.
This continues a trend of big forwards, who can step outside and shoot, giving MSU matchup problems.
Iowas Glenn Worley poured in 29 points, connecting on 4 thee-point field goals.
Sophomore guard Kelvin Torbert led the Spartans with 12 points. Senior forward Al Anagonye notched a double-double, pouring in 11 points and snagging 11 rebounds.
MSU had two scoring droughts in the first half that did them in. One was a 4 minute and 20 second stretch and the other was a 7 minute and 49 second stretch that say Minnesota go on a 21-2 run.
Bauer and Rickert led the Gophers surge connecting on 5 three-pointers during the stretch to make the lead 31-13.
Bauer led the Golden Gophers with 13 points in the first half, while Rickert finished with 12 points.
Chris Hill and Kelvin Torbert paced the Spartans in the first half scoring 8 and 7 points, respectively.
The Spartans return to action on Wednesday to take on Penn State at 6 p.m. at the Brisling Center.