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No. 6 Michigan State edges Minnesota

Feb 23, 2012 - 6:58 AM Minneapolis, MN (Sports Network) - Keith Appling's go-ahead free throws with 32 seconds remaining lifted No. 6 Michigan State to a 66-61 victory over Minnesota on Wednesday.

Austin Hollins was long on a three-pointer from the right wing with 24 seconds to play and Appling nailed two more foul shots with 19 seconds left to secure the win for the Spartans.

Draymond Green finished with 17 points, five rebounds, five assists and four steals for the Spartans (23-5, 12-3 Big Ten), who won their sixth straight game. Appling had 13 points and five assists in the victory.

"It was a game where we got outplayed most of the game," said Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo. "(Minnesota) played real hard and they faltered at the end. I feel for them."

Hollins netted 17 points while Julian Welch added 10 points and eight assists for Minnesota (17-11, 5-10), which has lost four straight games and six of its last eight.

Two Welch free throws followed by a jumper on Minnesota's ensuing possession gave the hosts a 58-52 advantage with 3:27 to play in the game.

But then things unraveled for the Golden Gophers as they turned the ball over four times on their final six possessions.

Brandon Wood nailed a jumper before Green stole the ball from Welch and fed Wood for a layup to make it 58-56 with 1:41 to go.

Joe Coleman then turned the ball over and Green's layup at the other end tied the contest at 58 with 1:41 left.

Green stole the ball again, this one from Hollins, and Appling was fouled by Rodney Williams. Appling nailed both foul shots to give the Spartans a 60-58 advantage.

Wood's layup with three seconds left in the first half gave the visitors a slim 31-30 margin heading into the break.

"It's disappointing that we played so well for 30-plus minutes and we came out with a loss," Minnesota head coach Tubby Smith said. "We needed to take care of the ball better down the stretch."

Green nailed four treys en route to netting 12 first-half points for Michigan State.

Game Notes

The Spartans swept the season series for a sixth consecutive season and won their fifth straight game at Williams Arena...Wood scored 13 points...Minnesota outrebounded Michigan State 31-22.