Northwestern 55

(14-15, 8-8 Big Ten)

Michigan State 68

(18-10, 12-4 Big Ten)

    9:00 PM ET, March 12, 2004

    Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana

    1 2 T
    NW 23 3255
    MSU 36 3268

    Hill scores 17 as MSU cruises

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Chris Hill scored 17 points and Maurice Ager added 15 to lead Michigan State past Northwestern 68-55 in the second round of the Big Ten tournament Friday night.

    Four players reached double figures for the third-seeded Spartans (18-10). Shannon Brown had 11 points, and Paul Davis added 10.

    Jitim Young scored 24 points to lead Northwestern (14-15), which would have been eligible for the NIT with a win over the Spartans.

    Michigan State advances to Saturday's semifinals against No. 10 Wisconsin, the second seed in the tournament. The Badgers won both regular-season meetings, including a 68-64 victory in East Lansing, Mich., that -- had Michigan State won -- would have given the Spartans a share of the Big Ten title.

    Playing in their first game in 10 days, the Spartans appeared well rested.

    Michigan State shot 62 percent from the field and hovered above the tournament record of 64 percent -- set by Purdue against Minnesota in 2001 -- until late in the second half. The Spartans were 8-of-14 from three-point range and led by as many as 20 midway through the second half.

    Sixth-seeded Northwestern appeared up to the challenge in the early going, shooting 57.1 percent to stay within 12-10 after five minutes of play, but cooled to just 39 percent for the game.

    The Wildcats still finished the regular season with eight conference victories for the first time since 1968.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    2003-04 Season

    Jan 21, 2004 MSU 73, @NW 61Recap
    Feb 21, 2004 @MSU 66, NW 56Recap
    » Mar 12, 2004 @MSU 68, NW 55Recap