College basketball scores: No. 4 Michigan State shuts down Northwestern, 54-40

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Playing without Adreian Payne for the second straight game, the Spartans have now won nine straight.

Michigan State flashed its defensive prowess Wednesday, stifling Northwestern in a 54-40 victory. The Spartans won again without Adreian Payne, who sat for the second straight game with a foot injury. Michigan State's backcourt picked up the slack, as Gary Harris and Keith Appling combined for 25 points. Both teams shot poorly, but the Spartans' dominance on the offensive glass made the difference. Eight MSU players tallied an offensive board, and they grabbed 14 as a team. Northwestern's Tre Demps had 12 points off the bench to lead the Wildcats.

No. 9 Oklahoma State 80, TCU 52

The Cowboys stomped the bottom-feeders of the Big 12, riding Marcus Smart's 20 points and eight rebounds. This one was over early, with OSU jumping out to a double-digit lead midway through the first half. Markel Brown added 14 in the win, also snagging eight rebounds. After losing the conference opener to Kansas State, the Cowboys have won three straight Big 12 games. Its next challenge will be a road game in Lawrence, taking on No. 15 Kansas.

No. 10 San Diego State 68, Fresno State 60

Xavier Thames went of for 28 points as the Aztecs outworked Fresno State in the second half. Down one at the break, San Diego State put pressure on the Bulldogs by continuing to get to the free-throw line. The Aztecs finished with 41 attempts from the line. Four Fresno State players finished within one personal of fouling out, allowing the Aztecs to attack the rim with greater ease as the game progressed.

No. 16 Massachusetts 88, George Mason 87

The Minutemen pulled off a stunning comeback, culminating in Derrick Gordon's game-winning layup with eight seconds remaining. George Mason led by four in the final minute, but finished the game by turning the ball over on three consecutive possessions. That was enough for Gordon and leading scorer Chaz Williams to help UMass avoid the upset. The Minutemen are now 15-1 on the season, including 3-0 in the Atlantic 10.

No. 24 Saint Louis 66, St. Bonaventure 60

Saint Louis continues their unbeaten run through conference play, improving to 3-0 in the Atlantic 10. Dwayne Evans had 18 for the Billikens, and Jordair Jett scored 15. The Bonnies got 16 from Dion Wright off the bench, but it wasn't enough as St. Bonaventure lost the rebounding battle, 45-32. Saint Louis will host Fordham on Saturday.

Clemson 56, Virginia Tech 49

It was all guard play in this ACC matchup, with Clemson's Rod Hall and K.J. McDaniels proving to be the superior backcourt. The pair combined for 25 points, sinking eight of their 11 free-throw attempts along the way. The Tigers are now 3-1 in conference play, and are making a bid to be included in next week's AP poll. Clemson finishes the week with a home contest against Wake Forest.

Tennessee 78, Auburn 67

Jarnell Stokes put up an impressive 14 points and as many rebounds as the Volunteers improve to 2-1 in SEC play. Senior guard Jordan McRae led Tennessee with 21 points, but Stokes prevented the Tigers from getting second chances around the rim. Auburn's Chris Denson contributed 24 points as the Tigers are still seeking their first conference victory.

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