were missing one of their top players in Adreian Payne. The 6-foot-10 forward sat out his second straight game because of a sprained right foot and will have more X-rays on Friday. "Frustrating for him," Izzo said. "Although I have to admit he actually had better suggestions on the bench than he had in the games. I appreciated him as an assistant. I thought he did a good job in the huddles, and sometimes guys grow when they dont play. They appreciate playing." Izzo said Payne spoke in the locker room afterward. "That kids grown up so much. Its been a good year for him," Izzo added. Its been a great one for Michigan State, too, even if this game was a bit ugly. Tre Demps did his best to keep Northwestern (8-10, 1-4) in the game, scoring 10 of his 12 pooints in the second half.dddddddddddd. But leading scorer Drew Crawford never got going. He managed just six points with Denzel Valentine guarding him most of the game. Point guard Dave Sobolewski missed his second straight game because of a concussion, and the Wildcats came up short after beating then-No. 23 Illinois on Sunday night to give new coach Chris Collins his first Big Ten victory. They havent knocked off a top-five team since they took out fourth-ranked Michigan State on Jan. 27, 1979. But Izzo insisted Collins has them on the right path, even if its been a bumpy one. The Wildcats are moving to a more free flowing offence after running the Princeton set under former coach Bill Carmody, and it hasnt been the easiest adjustment. But they see the progress even though theyve failed to hit the 50-point mark the past two games. "Were really on the verge of something good," Crawford said. Coming off back-to-back overtime wins against Ohio State and Minnesota, Michigan State probably could have used a breather. The problem was, the Spartans had trouble sustaining a run. They looked as though they were poised to put this one away after Travis Trice nailed a 3 and Matt Costello scooped in a reverse layup to make it 40-31 with 11:36 remaining. But Demps answered with a basket for Northwestern. It was 44-37 when Alex Gauna banked in a shot to start a six-point spurt that gave the Spartans a double-digit lead. Harris hit two free throws and stripped Demps, leading to two more foul shots for Appling that made it 50-37 with 4:59 left, and the Spartans hung on from there. "(Northwestern) got loose balls," Izzo said. "They did the things theyve got to do. Its a sign of a good young team thats playing hard. Its the sign of a good coach whos getting them to play hard. I think theres a lot of positive things here. We have a good team. Were not playing real good right now." Wholesale Hoodies NFL Shirts Outlet Jerseys NFL Wholesale Cheap NFL Jerseys Free Shipping Wholesale Jerseys Cheap Cheap NFL Jerseys China Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys China Cheap NFL Jerseys
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