Kelvin Torbert picked a good time to find his shot.
The sophomore shooting guard utilized an 8-for-11 shooting performance to score a career-high 22 points, helping to lift Michigan State (14-9, 6-5 Big Ten) to a 64-51 win over Northwestern in the Breslin Center.
Senior forward Aloysius Anagonye finished with 13 points and eight rebounds on 6-for-6 shooting.
It is the Spartans fourth win in five tries, and also gives the ball club momentum heading into Tuesday's matchup with 14th-ranked Illinois at Assembly Hall.
Spartans' head coach Tom Izzo was cautiously optimistic following the contest, but was pleased with the performance of his team.
"I thought Torbert -- for 30 minutes -- played as well as he has since he has been here," Izzo said. "And Anagonye really played a lot better. But we'll have to play a lot better if we expect to go down to Illinois and give them a ballgame."
The Spartans, meanwhile, also took 14 more shots than the Wildcats (54-40), shooting 46 percent from the field.
Izzo mentioned that Torbert also may have finally found his place within the offensive scheme, something the team requires from the often inconsistent shooting guard.
"We've convinced him he's more of a 15-foot player now," Izzo said, referring to Torbert's array of mid-range jump shots against Northwestern. "And that's OK. Michael Jordan wasn't a great shooter in college, either. I'm not comparing the two of them. But sometimes people want to be something they're not."
Following the win, Michigan State now finds itself just two games out of first place in the conference after Purdue's upset win over Illinois.
With a win in Champaign, the Spartans could find themselves right back into the Big Ten race. Game time is slated for 7:00pm ET.