EAST LANSING, Mich. – Boo Buie scored 20 points as Northwestern beat No. 20 Michigan State 70-63 on Sunday night in the Big Ten opener for both teams.
Chase Audige added 15 points and Ty Berry had 13 for Northwestern (6-2), which ended a two-game losing streak.
“It goes without saying that this was a great win for us,” said head coach Chris Collins. “After our performance in the ACC-Big Ten challenge, where we lost by a lot on our home court (against Pittsburgh), I’m very pleased with our determination over the past few days.”
Mady Sossoko and AJ Hoggard each had 12 points for Michigan State (5-4) and Joey Hauser added 10. The Spartans have lost two in a row, falling to Notre Dame earlier in the week.
Hoggard cut Northwestern’s lead to 64-63 with 46 seconds remaining. After a timeout, Buie scored on a layup with 23 seconds remaining.
“We got stronger,” Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said.
Northwestern took the lead late in the first half on a layup by Buie and never relinquished it, leading by as many as nine points.
“We sweep (the loss to Pittsburgh) under the rug,” Buie said. “We turn the page, as we do with any victory or defeat. The season is so long that you can’t get stuck in a single game. Like tonight. We are very happy with the victory, but after tonight it’s over. You can’t stop at things.
The Wildcats were 21 of 24 from free throws, while the Spartans were 9 of 12.
“I was worried about an early knockout punch,” Collins said. He knew they would cheer up after the Notre Dame loss. They beat us early and got a seven-point lead, and then we calmed down.”
UNTIL NEXT TIME
Northwest: Hosts Prairie View A&M on December 11
Michigan State: At Penn State on Wednesday night.
Northwestern defeats No. 20 Michigan State in Big Ten opener originally featured on NBCSports.com