EAST LANSING, Michigan (Ticker) -- Shannon Brown, Maurice Ager and Michigan State filled the baskets with ease against Big Ten Conference foe Minnesota.
Brown scored 18 points on 6-of-7 shooting and Ager added 16 points and made 7-of-10 attempts as the 10th-ranked Spartans cruised past the slumping Golden Gophers, 81-62.
Paul Davis chipped in 14 points and 12 rebounds for the Spartans (18-4, 9-2 Big Ten), who shot 57 percent (32-of-56) en route to their 15th victory in 17 games. Davis became the fourth current Spartan to reach 1,000 career points.
"I think the only downside today was some of our defensive lapses," Davis said. "We were shooting better. We have to continue it. We can't slump off now."
Minnesota (16-9, 6-6), which has won just three of its last 15 meetings with Michigan State, lost its third straight game overall, matching its season-high skid of November 26-30.
Michigan State held just a 26-24 edge after a 3-pointer by Minnesota's Aaron Robinson with 6:57 left in the first half, but Chris Hill countered with a layup and jumper to trigger a 19-7 run heading into the break.
"We were able to cut it to two late in the first half, but they made some shots at the end of the shot clock that were really crucial," Gophers coach Dan Monson said. "You just can't let a team like that get into an offensive rhythm. We could not get to them offensively."
The Spartans shot 63 percent (17-of-27) and limited the Gophers to 39 percent (11-of-28) in the first half.
"I thought we came out and tried to be aggressive, go at them and keep them on their heels, attack them on defense, and go out and run," Brown said. "I think we did a good job of it. Our point guards did a good job of throwing the ball up and we did a heck of a job running and converting."
Hill, who scored nine points, pushed the advantage to 62-40 on a 3-pointer with 12:54 remaining, and the Spartans held a comfortable lead thereafter.
"For us that was what the doctor ordered," Spartans coach Tom Izzo said. "I thought we had more guys playing well at certain times. There were negatives but there were a lot of positives."
Vincent Grier scored 19 points to pace Minnesota, which shot 41 percent (22-of-54).
The Gophers have not defeated a ranked team on the road since a 55-54 triumph at Michigan on February 26, 1997.
Michigan State converted 16 Minnesota turnovers into 21 points, but the Gophers scored just 10 points off 18 Spartan giveaways.
Minnesota held an early 5-2 lead but Michigan State went on an 8-2 run to take the lead for good.