No. 5 Michigan State Pulls Away From Northwestern, 79-70

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In Progress: No. 5 Michigan State Locked In Battle With Northwestern

Read more at our Spartans blog, The Only Colors, and our Wildcats blog, Sippin On Purple.

East Lansing, MI (Sports Network) - Durrell Summers went 9-of-13 from the field for 24 points, and fifth-ranked Michigan State stormed out to a big lead in the second half and defeated Northwestern, 79-70, to remain unbeaten in conference play.

Summers added 10 rebounds for the Spartans (19-3, 9-0 Big Ten), who now have a huge three-game lead in the conference standings. Kalin Lucas provided 23 points, while Delvon Roe had 13 in the victory, Michigan State's 10th straight.

Draymond Green contributed nine points and 11 rebounds in the win. The Spartans started off slow, shooting 37.5 percent in the first half, but they hit at an astounding 75-percent clip in the final 20 minutes to pull away.

John Shurna made six three-pointers en route to a career-high 31 points for the Wildcats (14-7, 3-6), who have lost four of six. Shurna had 11 of the team's 23 field goals, as the next leading scorers on the team were Drew Crawford and Jeremy Nash with 12 points each.

The Spartans led by one moments into the second half, but a 16-1 burst turned the game into a rout.

Summers had eight points on 3-of-3 shooting during the stretch, which lasted about six minutes. Green's jumper with just under 13 minutes to play gave Michigan State a commanding 48-32 advantage.

Northwestern was unable to rally back, getting only as close as six for the remainder of the game. Nash's jumper with under eight minutes left made it a 56-44 game, but Chris Allen and Lucas quickly responded with back-to-back jumpers to get the lead back to 16.

The game was never in doubt down the stretch despite a late push by the Wildcats. Michigan State was efficient enough from the free throw line to keep Northwestern at bay.

Neither team led by more than four in a tightly contested first half.

Michigan State went 1-for-11 from three-point range in the opening 20 minutes, but the Spartans' prowess on the offensive glass kept them in the game, as they grabbed 12 offensive rebounds. Northwestern, meanwhile, relied on a much more efficient shooting game, making 11-of-24 field goal attempts to keep itself within 30-28 at halftime.

Michigan State has won 14 of the last 15 meetings between the teams, including a 91-70 win over the Wildcats in Evanston on January 2...The Spartans lead the all-time series, 79-37...Northwestern is 2-4 on the road, while Michigan State is 13-0 at home...MSU outrebounded the Wildcats, 37-27...The Spartans shot 51.9 percent from the field overall, compared to 42.6 percent for Northwestern.

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