Spartans pull away at Northwestern

Michigan State stays undefeated in conference play, moves to 16-1 overall with 54-40 win.

It took a while for Michigan State to hit its stride, but it finally pulled away from Northwestern in Evanston.

Gary Harris had 14 points and Keith Appling posted 11 to lead the Spartans to the 54-40 win.

Northwestern kept pace in the first half behind four 3-pointers as the Spartans shot 1 of 11 from 3-point range before halftime. MSU led 26-22 at the half.

The Spartans began to pull away with Harris hit a pair of free throws with 13:27 to go in the second half. A four-point lead grew in to a nine-point lead in less than two minutes and MSU rolled.

Alex Gauna tied a career-high with eight points.

Michigan State was without forward Adreian Payne, who missed his second straight game with a foot injury. Forward Branden Dawson did not start as he has been day to day with a virus.

Coach Tom Izzo moved into a tie for fourth place in Big Ten history with 214 conference wins.

The Spartans head into Illinois on Saturday night with a 16-1 record and 5-0 in conference. They also have won all four true road games by 14 points or more.

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