Draymond Green scored 15 points, including an offensive rebound basket after a missed free throw with 12 seconds to go Monday night, and No. 18 Michigan State held off a furious finish from Northwestern to beat the Wildcats 65-62.
Durrell Summers and Kalin Lucas had 12 points apiece for the Spartans (10-4, 2-0 Big Ten), who beat Northwestern for the 15th time in the last 16 meetings.
Northwestern’s John Shurna, the Big Ten’s leading scorer at 22.2 points who has been bothered by a sore ankle, shot just 1-for-11 and missed four of his five 3-point attempts while scoring 11 points. Drew Crawford led the Wildcats (9-3, 0-2) with 17 points.
Michael Thompson had 12 points, nine in a late 12-0 run that helped the Wildcats chop a 13-point deficit down to a single point with 28 seconds left.
Summers hit a 3-pointer and Lucas a pair of jumpers during a 7-0 run that put the Spartans up 10 with just under 10 minutes left.
The Spartans increased the lead to 13 on a Lucas jumper with 3:47 to go and appeared to have victory wrapped up.
But Thompson, who’d struggled through a tough shooting night, led a Northwestern comeback. His 3-pointer with 1:10 left cut the lead back to 63-60.
Michigan State’s Green was called for an offensive foul with 51 seconds to go and after a timeout, Thompson got free for a layup that sliced it to 63-62 with 28 seconds remaining.
After Lucas missed a free throw with 13.7 seconds left, Green muscled in for the offensive rebound and then dropped the ball in the basket with 12 seconds to go, putting the Spartans up by three.
Thompson missed a 3-point attempt before Crawford rebounded and Northwestern got a final timeout with nine-tenths of second to play.
Crawford took the inbounds pass but could not get off a good shot as the horn sounded.
Michigan State’s victory came on a night when the Spartans shot only five free throws, making one, to 16-of-24 for the Wildcats.
Six and a half minutes into the second half, Michigan State had been called for eight fouls and Northwestern none.
When Northwestern was finally called for a second-half foul with 13:13 left, sending Michigan State to the line for the first time in the game, a loud contingent of Spartans fans jumped to their feet with a mock cheer.
Northwestern shot just 31.6 percent from the field for the game and Michigan State 48.3 percent. The Spartans finished with a 45-33 rebounding edge. They led 35-31 at the half behind 10 points from Green, who finished 7-for-11 from the field, and had 11 rebounds.
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