#1 Michigan State Roars Back To Drop Northwestern 65-60

 

Allstate Arena

Rosemont, IL

The #1 Michigan State Spartans overcame a 43-16 deficit to come roaring back in the second half for one of the most impressive wins in Spartan history 65-60.  It was one of the greatest wins that I have ever witnessed and the biggest comeback in Big Ten history.

Led by Cassius Winston’s 17 points, nine rebounds and seven assists the Wildcats scored just 11 second-half points and were lost in the bright lights of playing a national title favorite.  Nick Ward had a brilliant double-double dropping 15 points and ten rebounds and Jaren Jackson, Jr (3J) added 11 as the only other double-digit scorer.

Tom Izzo said of the amazing win, “For us, you have to win a game like this once in a while.  I thought for us defense let us down.  We talk all of the time about how you win championships or how you advance (in the NCAA Tournament).  Your defense is supposed to travel.  Home and road.  I definitely thought we played better in the second half.  I thought we were up on those ball screens and we did a better job of moving the ball.”

Michigan State shot 43% on the game compared to the Wildcats 38%.  The Spartans found their mojo in the second half to come back and win the battle of the boards 35-26.  MSU did have a disappointing 12 turnovers but continued their unselfish display of basketball talent with 16 assists on 20 baskets.  But it was a 24-0 run in the second half that led the Spartans to victory.

Izzo added, “When I look at it, there can’t be much of a better comeback than the one we just had.  There really can’t be.  I told my team after that we are setting some new records at Michigan State.  Best start, best this best that.  This might be the greatest comeback.  The other records I appreciate, but this one I really don’t.”

Miles Bridges had eight points and said of the play of Winston, “He is an unbelievable person and player.  It is great to see him lead us and he did that.”

3J echoed the sentiments of Bridges on Winston, “Cash is just a great player.  It doesn’t matter if it is getting us the ball in the right spot or pulling up and taking the big shot. That is our guy.”

With this win, the Spartans improve their best start in program history to 26-3 (14-2).  The Spartans have won 10 in a row and seven on the road in league play.

The #1 Spartans return to action on Tuesday night.  That game tips off at 7 PM and can be seen on ESPN.  The Spartans will be returning to the friendly confines of the Breslin Center and be taking fellow Big Ten foe Illinois.  The Spartans beat the Illini in Bloomington on January 22 by a score of 87-74.

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