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No. 18 Spartans hold on to beat Northwestern

Jan 4, 2011 - 7:24 AM Evanston, IL (Sports Network) - Draymond Green had 15 points, including a key putback in the final moments, and No. 18 Michigan State fended off a furious rally Monday for a 65-62 win over Northwestern.

The Wildcats went on a 12-0 run and pulled within a point of Michigan State on Michael Thompson's back-door layup with 27 seconds remaining in the game.

Kalin Lucas missed a free throw at the other end, but Green collected the rebound in the paint and scored to make 65-62.

Thompson missed a three-pointer to potentially tie it, but Northwestern got the rebound and called a timeout.

However, the best the Wildcats could do was a missed jumper from Drew Crawford from in front of the three-point line at the buzzer.

"I liked the way our guys came back," said Northwestern head coach Bill Carmody. "You have to get good teams -- or any team -- to the point that they're sweating and there is a consequence for missing a shot."

Lucas and Durrell Summers added 12 points apiece for the Spartans (10-4, 2-0 Big Ten), who have won four of their last five games.

Crawford scored 17 points and Thompson had 12 for Northwestern (9-3, 0-2), which has lost three of four after beginning the year with eight consecutive wins.

Lucas buried a jumper to make it 63-50 Michigan State with 3:47 remaining, but the Spartans went the next 3 1/2 minutes without a point until Green battled for the rebound after Lucas' free throw dipped in and out of the basket.

"You expect your best players to make the best plays at the end and [Green] made one," said Spartans head coach Tom Izzo, "so for that I'm really happy for him."

Thompson scored nine points during the 12-0 Northwestern run, including a three-pointer from the top of the key to get the Wildcats within 63-60.

Green was whistled for an offensive foul at the other end after leaving his feet on a pass in the lane and bowling over a Northwestern defender.

Alex Marcotullio saw Thompson behind the defense at the other end and threw up a pass near the bucket that Thompson leapt to convert into an alley-oop layup, capping the 12-point surge and setting up the frantic finish.

Michigan State shot 49 percent in the first half and carried a 35-31 lead into the break.

Game Notes

The Spartans shot 48 percent for the game, the Wildcats 32...Michigan State increased its all-time lead in the series to 80-37...The Spartans' only losses this season have come to powerhouses Connecticut, Duke, Syracuse and Texas...Northwestern fell to 6-1 at home this season.