Michigan State basketball: Who helped, hurt their cause vs. Minnesota?

Michigan State basketball recorded a big win against Minnesota Tuesday and here is who helped and hurt their cause.

Michigan State basketball had a season-saving win, for now, Tuesday night at Minnesota. Several players dug the Spartans in a first half hole because of their poor performances. However, other players led the second half comeback with some of their best performances of the season.

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Here are three players who hurt and three who helped their cause against Minnesota.

Helped: Alvin Ellis III

It seems like Alvin Ellis wins Michigan State one game every year. Indiana in 2015 and Maryland in 2016 come to mind. After the way he played last night, Ellis has a chance to win a handful of games for the Spartans this year. Not only did he score a career-high 20 points, but he hit the two game-winning free throws with 10 seconds left. He also had to play a lot of power forward on defense.

Hurt: Eron Harris

It was kind of assumed that Eron Harris was going to take on a bigger role as one of the offensive powers this year. With Miles Bridges injured on top of that, this was a perfect opportunity for Harris to break out. That didn’t happen. He got outplayed by Ellis and showed weaknesses on both ends of the court. He is slowly losing playing time with every passing game.

Helped: Nick Ward

Games like last night are starting to become the norm for the freshman forward. He has now scored double figures for eight straight games and is rebounding at a high level. Ward is a mismatch in the post and if he can figure out his free throw shooting (4-for-13 last night), he is going to be a major threat all year.

Hurt: Matt McQuaid

If Matt McQuaid isn’t hitting his shots, he isn’t very useful on the court. As long as he’s shooting 0-3 from three-point range and 1-6 from the field, he is going to continue to hurt his cause.

Helped: Lourawls Nairn Jr.

Tum Tum Nairn has taken a back seat to freshman Cassius Winston the past few games, but Nairn showed why he is one of the key pieces to this team. He played tight defense, initiated the offense, and scored a career-high 13 points. The Spartans need him to continue to be as big of a factor as he was last night to have a good season.

Hurt: Kenny Goins

Goins fouled out while only registering seven minutes of action. I don’t think much elaboration is needed.

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