East Lansing, Mich. –  Michigan State junior men’s basketball player Nick Ward (Gahanna, Ohio/Lincoln) was named the Big Ten Player of the Week on Monday.  This is the second-straight week a Spartan has earned that honor, following junior guard Cassius Winston (Detroit, Mich./University of Detroit Jesuit) last week.

Michigan State, winners of eight-straight games and 13 of its last 14 overall, is 13-2 overall and 4-0 in the Big Ten.  The Spartans are ranked No. 6 in this week’s Associated Press Top 25 poll.

Ward helped lead MSU to a pair of wins last week, beating Northwestern at home, 81-55, followed by an 86-77 win over then-No. 14 Ohio State on Saturday in Columbus.

Ward averaged 21.0 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.5 blocked shots in two games, while connecting on 60.9 percent of his shots (14-of-23) and 70.0 percent from the free throw line (14-of-20).  He scored all 21 of his points during the first half of the win over Northwestern and followed that up with 21 points, eight rebounds and three blocks, hitting 5-of-7 field goals and 11-of-14 free throws in a road win at Ohio State.

This is the first Player of the Week honor this year for Ward and the third of his career.

Michigan State returns home to the Breslin Center on Tuesday, Jan. 8, hosting Purdue.  Tipoff is slated for 9 p.m.  The game will air live on ESPN2, with Dave Flemming calling the play-by-play, Dan Dakich serving as the color analyst and Molly McGrath on sidelines.

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