Michigan State was able to pull off a come from behind win in East Lansing against Northwestern, beating the Wildcats in overtime 71-67 Saturday.
Keith Appling played like a veteran hitting clutch free-throws and a go-ahead 3-pointer during the Spartan rally. Appling score 19 during the overtime win.
“Appling is really starting to raise his game,” Michigan State coach Tom Izzo told the Associated Press.
Appling was 6 for 11 from the field and 5 for 8 from 3-point range on the floor where he scored 49 points to set a state finals record his junior year at Detroit Pershing High.
This was Michigan State’s second overtime win in four days. It is their first back-to-back overtime win in Spartan history.
The Spartans (12-5, 4-1 Big Ten) got 18 points from Kalin Lucas and 16 points and eight rebounds from Draymond Green, who also hit all 10 of his free throws.
Michigan State, the worst team in the league at the foul line, was 24 for 28 from the free-throw line. And none were bigger than Appling’s pair that put his team up 69-65.
“It’s a good thing we’re living right, that’s all I can say,” Izzo told the Associated Press of the 1,500th win in school history. “I thought in the first five minutes, a lot was said. Our energy level was the best it has been. I don’t have many complaints except our shooting (26.1 percent in the first half). If the ball had gone in the basket, it would’ve really looked pretty today.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.