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Michigan State

No. 9 Michigan State Beats Northwestern 85-70

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EAST LANSING, MI - FEBRUARY 13: Gary Harris #14 of the Michigan State Spartans drives the ball over Alex Olah #22 of the Northwestern Wildcars during the first half of the game at Breslin Center on February 13, 2014 in East Lansing, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

EAST LANSING, MI – FEBRUARY 13: Gary Harris #14 of the Michigan State Spartans drives the ball over Alex Olah #22 of the Northwestern Wildcars during the first half of the game at Breslin Center on February 13, 2014 in East Lansing, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

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NOAH TRISTER, AP Sports Writer

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Adreian Payne had 20 points and 14 rebounds, and No. 9 Michigan State cruised past Northwestern 85-70 on Thursday night to stay tied atop the Big Ten.

The Spartans (21-4, 10-2) are even in the standings with rival Michigan — and those two teams meet in Ann Arbor on Feb. 23.

Gary Harris added 14 points for Michigan State, rebounding a bit from a poor shooting performance in a loss to Wisconsin last weekend. The Spartans shot 53 percent from the field against a Northwestern team that came in with a sterling defensive reputation.

The Wildcats (12-13, 5-7) had not allowed 80 points in a game in over a month.

Michigan State was without point guard Keith Appling, who has been bothered by a wrist injury.

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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