Action Jackson: Freshman’s 27 leads MSU in rout
Minneapolis — There’s hardly any room for error for Michigan State in the chase for a Big Ten championship, and on Tuesday night at Minnesota, the Spartans showed they’re up to the challenge.
Behind a career-high 27 points from freshman Jaren Jackson Jr., No. 2 Michigan State made 10 of 11 3-pointers in the first half on its way to an 87-57 victory over Minnesota at Williams Arena. Nick Ward added 13 points and nine rebounds for the Spartans while Cassius Winston scored 12 on 4-for-5 shooting from 3-point range.
Michigan State (25-3, 13-2 Big Ten) finished 14-for-22 from 3-point range, two shy of its season-high of the 16 3-pointers it made at home against Maryland.
The win marks Michigan State’s best start in school history, surpassing the 24-3 mark of 2000-01.
BOX SCORE: Michigan State 87, Minnesota 57
Michigan State remains on the heels of Ohio State in the chase for the Big Ten title. The Spartans have three games remaining while the Buckeyes (22-5, 13-1) still have four to play with a game at Penn State on Thursday.
Isaiah Washington scored 18 to lead Minnesota (14-14, 3-12) while Jordan Murphy added 16 points and Nate Mason scored 14.
Michigan State was on fire for most of the first half, making five of its first six – all 3-pointers. The first three came from Winston followed by two straight from Jackson. A Bridges 3-pointer had the Spartans ahead 18-6 and forced Minnesota to take an early timeout.
The Spartans made eight of their first nine from 3-point range, the only miss coming from Lourawls Nairn Jr. when the senior guard believed the shot clock was winding down. Michigan State closed the first half 10-for-12 from 3-point range as Jackson and Winston were each 4-for-4.
The Gophers hit four 3s in the first half, the last from Nate Mason in the final seconds to cut Michigan State’s lead to 43-25 headed to the locker room.
Michigan State continued to pull away in the second half pushing the lead to 33 late in the second half.