Michigan State only needed 40 minutes to defeat the Northwestern University Wildcats Wednesday night by a tally of 54-40 and remain undefeated atop the Big Ten standings.
As they have for most of the year, the Spartans came out slow and only led Northwestern 26-22 heading into halftime. MSU shot 1-11 from three point range in the first half. They ended the game 2-16 from behind the arc.
Neither team shot particularly well. Northwestern shot just over 28 percent from the field and Michigan State shot a little over 38 percent.
Gary Harris led the Spartans with a game-high 14 points despite a shooting 5-13 from the field and 0-6 from three. Keith Appling extended his streak of double figure scoring, contributing 11.
Branden Dawson continued his return to form, collecting 11 rebounds and putting in six points. Alex Gauna tied his career high with eight points and provided a nice lift off the bench for the short-handed Spartans.
Adreian Payne was out once again with a sprained foot. There is still no indication of when he will be back. Tom Izzo has said that he will bring Payne back when he is “100 percent,” but no timetable has been set for when that will be.
Michigan State will continue their road trip in the Land of Lincoln Saturday when they take on the University of Illinois Fighting Illini at 8 p.m. EST in Champaign.
Andrew Hayes is the host of Impact Izzone for Impact Sports.
Photo: David Defever/Impact Sports