Tom Izzo gets 698th career win, Michigan State pulls away late to beat Minnesota 76-66

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Tyson Walker scored 12 of his 21 points inside the last four minutes to help Michigan State pull away and beat Minnesota 76-66 on Thursday night, giving coach Tom Izzo his 698th career win with the Spartans.

Michigan State trailed just once in the second half, but it was tied seven times. It was knotted 62-all before Walker’s jumper at the 3:38 mark sparked a 14-4 run to end it. Walker was 4 of 5 from the floor, made four free throws, grabbed two rebounds and had a steal during the stretch. Minnesota missed its last five field goals.

EAST LANSING, MICHIGAN - JANUARY 18: Malik Hall #25 of the Michigan State Spartans drives to the basket against Dawson Garcia #3 of the Minnesota Golden Gophers during the first half of the game at Breslin Center on January 18, 2024 in East Lansing,

Walker was 7-of-13 shooting overall and made 6 of 7 free throws. Malik Hall added 16 points, 12 rebounds and four assists for Michigan State (11-7, 3-4 Big Ten), who had 20 assists and shot 29 of 65 (45%). Jaden Akins chipped in 10 points.

Dawson Garcia scored 22 points to lead Minnesota (12-6, 3-4). Mike Mitchell Jr. made three of the Golden Gophers’ seven 3-pointers and finished with 14 points.

Minnesota made four more shots from distance (7 of 20), was 17 of 26 from the free-throw line compared to the Spartans’ 15-of-23 shooting but attempted 16 fewer (21 of 49) field goals.

In his 29th year, Izzo is 698-287 and 336-164 in the Big Ten. He ranks as the winningest coach in Michigan State history, having passed his mentor Jud Heathcote with his 341st career victory on Nov. 28, 2009.

Michigan State plays its next two games on the road, starting with Maryland on Sunday and then 11th-ranked Wisconsin on Jan. 26. The Spartans return home on Jan. 30 to face Michigan.

Minnesota will look to end a three-game skid when it hosts Wisconsin on Tuesday.