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

  • NFL: Detroit at Atlanta

    Today at 9:30 am on FOX50

  • NFL: Seattle at Carolina

    Today at 1:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Indianapolis at Pittsburgh

    Today at 4:25 pm on WRAL-TV

  • World Series: Kansas City at San Francisco

    Tonight at 7:30 on FOX50

  • NFL: Detroit at Atlanta

    Today at 9:30 am on 99.9 The Fan

  • NFL: Carolina Panthers vs. Seattle Seahawks

    Today at 1:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • World Series: Kansas City at San Francisco

    Tonight at 7:30 on 99.9 The Fan

  • NFL: Green Bay at New Orleans

    Tonight at 8:25 on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14
 
1:00pm Today
CAR
SEA
Final
SFG 11
KAN 4
8:07pm Tonight
SFG
KAN
 
Final
WISC 52
MD 7
Final
SMU 10
MEM 48
Final
ILL 28
MINN 24
Final
RICE 41
UNT 21
Final
NEB 42
RUTG 24
Final
KST 23
TEX 0
Final
ARK 45
UAB 17
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
EMICH 17
NILL 28
Final
NAVY 41
SJST 31
Final
BST 35
AKR 21
Final
GASTATE 31
GASO 69
Final
TOL 42
UMASS 35
Final
WMICH 42
OHIO 21
Final
COL 37
UCLA 40
Final
UMO 10
KSU 3
Final
WAKE 17
BC 23
Final
BUF 14
CMICH 20
Final
MARS 35
FATL 16
Final
PITT 28
GT 56
Final
SMISS 20
LATU 31
Final
MSU 35
MICH 11
Final
KENT 31
MSST 45
Final
STAN 38
ORST 14
Final
TCU 82
TTU 27
Final
OKST 10
WVU 34
Final
WKENT 66
ODU 51
Final
UTST 34
UNLV 20
Final
MIZZ 24
VANDY 14
Final
UCF 34
TEMPL 14
Final
WASU 37
ARZ 59
Final
CLEM 16
SYR 6
Final
LAMON 18
TXST 22
Final
TXSANANTO 0
UTEP 34
Final
COLST 45
WYO 31
Final
LSU 10
MISS 7
Final
TENN 20
ALA 34
Final
AUB 42
SCAR 35
Final
PSU 24
OSU 31
Final
UTAH 24
USC 21
Final
WASH 10
ARST 24
 
3rd
HAW 10
NEV 9
 
Final
SJS 1
BUF 2
Final
TOR 1
BOS 4
Final
NYI 7
DAL 5
Final
PHI 4
DET 2
Final
OTT 2
NJD 3
Final
MON 3
NYR 1
Final
STL 3
CHI 2
Final
NAS 0
PIT 3
Final
MIN 7
TAM 2
Final
ARI 2
FLA 1
Final
CAL 1
WAS 3
3:00pm Today
WIN
COL
 
4:00pm Today
LOS
CLB
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHI
OTT
 
8:00pm Tonight
ANA
SJS
 
9:30pm Tonight
VAN
WAS
 
9:30am Today
ATL
DET
1:00pm Today
CIN
BAL
1:00pm Today
NYJ
BUF
1:00pm Today
NEP
CHI
1:00pm Today
TEN
HOU
1:00pm Today
JAC
MIA
1:00pm Today
TAM
MIN
1:00pm Today
CAR
SEA
1:00pm Today
KAN
STL
4:05pm Today
ARI
PHI
4:25pm Today
PIT
IND
4:25pm Today
CLE
OAK
8:30pm Tonight
NOS
GBP
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14