Branden Dawson posted 16 points and nine rebounds as the Spartans cruised past the Wildcats in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten tournament in Indianapolis. Indiana native Gary Harris added 13 points, seven rebounds and three blocks for No. 3 seed Michigan State (24-7), which defeated Northwestern for the 20th time in the last 22 meetings and will face second-seeded Wisconsin in Saturday's semifinals. The Spartans grabbed 16 offensive boards to win the rebounding battle 40-24 and rejected eight shots – their third-highest total of the season. Drew Crawford paced Northwestern (14-19) with 21 points while Alex Olah chipped in with 10. The Wildcats have dropped 27 of the last 30 and 52 of the last 57 meetings. Kale Abrahamson and Tre Demps beat the shot clock on successive possessions to knot the game at 10, but back-to-back buckets by Dawson sparked a 6-0 surge that gave Michigan State a lead it would not relinquish. Olah halted Northwestern’s four-minute scoreless spell with a jumper before the Spartans scored the next six points and used an 18-5 run near the end of the first half to take an 18-point advantage into the break. Adreian Payne knocked down a 3-pointer and Keith Appling followed with a long jumper to stretch the margin to 45-22 in the opening moments of the second half as the Spartans led by as many as 24. Crawford caught fire late with eight points during an 11-0 surge with the game out of reach, but the Wildcats could not get any closer than 13 points the rest of the way. GAME NOTEBOOK: Michigan State coach Tom Izzo improved to 30-4 in his career against Northwestern. … Crawford (1,920 career points) passed Billy McKinney (1,900) for second place on the Wildcats’ all-time scoring list. … Michigan State lost 60-58 at Wisconsin on Feb. 9.
Michigan St 67, Northwestern 51
ProSportsDaily | Mar 15