Recap: Michigan State 71, Northwestern 61
No. 12 Michigan State 71, Northwestern 61: Keith Appling scored 16 points and the host Spartans pulled away in the final five minutes to win the Big Ten season finale.Gary Harris contributed 12 points, Adreian Payne had 11 and Derrick Nix added 10 for Michigan State (24-7, 13-5, Big Ten), which finished tied for second in the league with Ohio State and will enter the conference tournament as the third seed.Kale Abrahamson scored a season-high 16 points to lead four players in double figures for Northwestern (13-18, 4-14). Alex Marcotullio and Tre Demps scored 11 points apiece and Alex Olah finished with 10 for the Wildcats.Michigan State led by nine with 11:15 left, but Northwestern tied it at 51 four minutes later. After the Wildcats tied the score again at 53, they missed their next nine shots, allowing Michigan State to extend its lead back to 10.The Spartans shot 65.8 percent from the floor, including 6-for-10 from 3-point range.GAME NOTEBOOK: Northwestern will play Iowa in Thursday's first round of the Big Ten tournament. The winner will meet Michigan State in the quarterfinals. … The Spartans missed out on a chance to share the conference title when No. 2 Indiana beat No. 8 Michigan earlier in the day. … Michigan State improved to 18-1 all time against the Wildcats at Breslin Center.
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