banner

College Basketball

more stats

Northwestern (12-12) at (9) Michigan State (20-4)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Thursday, February 13, 7 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Breslin Center (14,759) -- East Lansing, Michigan. Television: BTN. Home Record: NU 8-6, MSU 10-2. Away Record: NU 4-4, MSU 6-1. Neutral Record: NU 0-2, MSU 4-1. Conference Record: NU 5-6, MSU 9-2. Series Record: Michigan State leads, 83-38.

GAME NOTES: Big Ten Conference rivals square off at the Breslin Center tonight, as the Northwestern Wildcats come calling on the ninth-ranked Michigan State Spartans.

Northwestern is an even 12-12 on the season, but sits a game below .500 in conference play (5-6). The Wildcats recently had a modest two-game win streak stopped by the visiting Nebraska Cornhuskers last weekend, as the hosts fell in a 53-49 final. NU is 4-4 in true road games, but 4-6 outside of Evanston all told when you factor in a pair of neutral-site affairs.

Michigan State has been one of the top teams not only in the Big Ten, but the country as well this season. Tom Izzo's club has logged a 20-4 mark, which includes a 9-2 league ledger. The Spartans have however, fallen in two of their last three and three of their last five, the most recent of which being a 60-58 setback at Wisconsin last Sunday. MSU is 10-2 at home this season.

These two teams met on NU's home court on Jan 15, with the Spartans claiming a 54-40 win to push their lead in the all-time series to 83-38. Michigan State has won six of the last seven, and 14 of the last 16 meetings overall.

Strong defensive play has been the reason Northwestern is even .500 on the season, as the team allows just 62.8 ppg behind typical shooting efforts of .403 overall and .299 from 3-point range. It's a good thing too, as the Wildcats are clearly overmatched at the other end, netting a mere 60.8 ppg in hitting only 39.8 percent of their total shots, which includes a 30.5 percent showing from beyond the arc. The team features three double-digit scorers in Drew Crawford (16.1 ppg, 6.8 rpg), JerShon Cobb (11.5 ppg, 4.7 rpg) and Tre Demps (10.5 ppg), the latter of whom comes off the bench in each game. NU is in the red in both rebounding (-3.0) and turnover (-0.8) margin.

Despite another outstanding defensive effort in which they allowed the visiting Cornhuskers just 16 first-half points and held them to 40.4 percent field goal efficiency for the game, the Wildcats lost yet again. Cobb scored 14 points and Crawford had 13, but only four others scored at all, as the home team shot just 37 percent from the floor, missing 14 of its 22 3-point tries along the way.

Michigan State is clearly the better of these two teams, as it has significant advantages in every statistical category. The Spartans are putting up 77.7 ppg thanks to shooting performances that come in at .468 overall and .380 from beyond the arc. The team's defensive effort allows for just 64.8 ppg, with foes shooting a mere 38.6 percent from the floor and 31.8 percent from downtown. Add positive differentials in both rebounding (+4.5) and turnovers (+2.3), and it's not difficult to see who is the favorite in this particular matchup. MSU boasts four double-digit scorers, with Gary Harris leading the way with his 17.6 ppg. The team recently welcomed back skilled big man Adreian Payne (16.4 ppg, 7.2 rpg) from a foot injury, and Keith Appling (15.0 ppg, 4.9 apg) is the guy who keeps the whole thing moving along, although he has missed the last two games with a wrist injury. Branden Dawson (10.2 ppg, 8.7 rpg) continues to be sidelined with a broken hand.

Poor shooting was the culprit in Michigan State's recent loss to Wisconsin, as the team connected on only 39.3 percent of its field goal attempts, which included a paltry 5-of-20 showing from 3-point range. Harris had perhaps the worst outing one can imagine, as he went just 3-of-20 from the field to finish with six points. Payne, who went over the 1,000-point mark in the contest, certainly can't be blamed for the setback, as he tallied a game-high 24 points by going 9-of-16 from the floor. He did have six of the team's 11 turnovers, but Travis Trice was the only other Spartan to reach double digits as he chipped in 13 points, the bulk of which came on three treys. MSU was outscored at the foul line, 13-5.

Appling may be out for a while longer and Dawson is hoping to be back in time for the postseason, but even still, the Spartans are the superior team here. The Wildcats are going to have to play well above their means just to keep this game competitive.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Michigan State 67, Northwestern 51

02/13 10:22:27 ET

Other Stories

  • CFB: Maryland at Syracuse

    Today at 12:25 pm on WRAL-TV

  • MLB: Detroit at Kansas City

    Today at 12:30 pm on FOX50

  • SEC: Florida at Alabama

    Today at 3:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • High School Wrap Up Show

    Today at 9:00 am on 99.9 The Fan

  • Logan Zone with Steve Logan

    Today at 10:00 am on 99.9 The Fan

  • SEC: Florida at Alabama

    Today at 3:30 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • CFB: NC State vs. Presbyterian

    Tonight at 6:00 on WRAL-FM

Scoreboard
Local
12:30pm Today
DUKE
TULA
3:30pm Today
ECU
UNC
6:00pm Tonight
TOWSN
NCCU
 
6:00pm Tonight
NCSU
PRES
 
Final
CHC 5
LOS 14
Final
BAL 3
BOS 5
Final
PIT 4
MIL 2
Final
NYY 5
TOR 3
Final
TAM 3
CWS 4
Final
MIA 2
WAS 3
Final
ATL 0
NYM 5
Final
COL 15
ARI 3
Final
MIN 5
CLE 4
Final
KAN 1
DET 10
Final
HOU 5
SEA 10
Final
STL 2
CIN 1
Final
OAK 3
PHI 1
Final
ANA 3
TEX 12
Final
SDP 5
SFG 0
1:05pm Today
KAN
DET
 
1:05pm Today
CHC
LOS
 
4:05pm Today
OAK
PHI
 
4:05pm Today
NYY
TOR
 
4:10pm Today
COL
ARI
 
7:05pm Tonight
BAL
BOS
 
7:05pm Tonight
PIT
MIL
 
7:10pm Tonight
TAM
CWS
 
7:10pm Tonight
MIN
CLE
 
7:10pm Tonight
ATL
NYM
 
7:10pm Tonight
HOU
SEA
 
7:10pm Tonight
MIA
WAS
 
7:15pm Tonight
STL
CIN
 
8:40pm Tonight
SDP
SFG
 
9:05pm Tonight
ANA
TEX
 
Final
SFLA 17
UCONN 14
12:00pm Today
WISC
BGU
12:00pm Today
MSU
EMICH
12:00pm Today
VT
GT
12:00pm Today
PITT
IOWA
12:00pm Today
RICE
ODU
12:00pm Today
UGA
TROY
12:30pm Today
SYR
MD
12:30pm Today
DUKE
TULA
2:00pm Today
COL
HAW
2:00pm Today
AKR
MARS
3:30pm Today
WAKE
ARMY
3:30pm Today
KU
CMICH
3:30pm Today
ALA
UF
3:30pm Today
FIU
LOU
3:30pm Today
ECU
UNC
3:30pm Today
NAVY
RUTG
3:30pm Today
SMU
TEXAM
3:30pm Today
MICH
UTAH
3:30pm Today
BYU
UVA
4:00pm Today
WYO
FATL
4:00pm Today
MIZZ
IND
4:00pm Today
PSU
UMASS
4:00pm Today
MINN
SJST
4:00pm Today
ILL
TXST
6:00pm Tonight
WASH
GASTATE
7:00pm Tonight
SMISS
APPST
7:00pm Tonight
TOL
BST
7:00pm Tonight
OHIO
IDAHO
7:00pm Tonight
CIN
UMO
7:00pm Tonight
MEM
MTST
7:00pm Tonight
LSU
MSST
7:00pm Tonight
ARK
NILL
7:00pm Tonight
ARKST
UTST
7:30pm Tonight
SALABAMA
GASO
7:30pm Tonight
WVU
OKLA
7:30pm Tonight
VANDY
SCAR
8:00pm Tonight
FSU
CLEM
8:00pm Tonight
NEB
MIAMI
8:00pm Tonight
NMST
NMU
8:00pm Tonight
HOU
UNLV
10:00pm Tonight
ARZ
CAL
10:30pm Tonight
BSU
LALAF
10:30pm Tonight
WASU
OREG
10:30pm Tonight
ORST
SDST
6:00pm Tonight
TOWSN
NCCU
 
6:00pm Tonight
NCSU
PRES