Gary Harris scored 14 points and No. 4 Michigan State beat Northwestern 54-40 on Wednesday night for its ninth straight win.
The preseason favorite to win the Big Ten, the Spartans (16-1, 5-0 Big Ten) continue to roll along, although it was hardly an easy night for them. They overcame a sluggish start and pulled away down the stretch even though they struggled in a big way from the outside.
They were 2 of 16 on 3-pointers with Harris missing all six and Keith Appling going 0 for 3. Harris did have four steals, and Appling managed to score 11 points.
Branden Dawson, fighting an illness, had 11 rebounds and three blocks, and the Spartans came away with the win even though they were missing one of their top players in Adreian Payne.