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Michigan State 66, Northwestern 56

2/21/2004

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- Chris Hill scored 16 points,
including three 3-pointers, to help a balanced Michigan State beat
Northwestern 66-56 on Saturday.

Paul Davis scored 15 and dominated inside. Maurice Ager had 11
off the bench and Alan Anderson added 12 points and six assists for
the Big Ten leading Spartans (15-9, 10-3), who began the season at
No. 3 before struggling with a 5-7 start.

Jitim Young topped all scorers with 25 points, but was the only
player in double figures for the Wildcats (11-12, 6-6). Young was
9-for-14 from the field and had four steals.

Michigan State worked the ball inside, then back out against
Northwestern's zone and was 9-for-18 from 3-point range. The
Spartans outscored the Wildcats 27-6 beyond the arc to more than
make up for a 14-3 deficit in free throws.

It was the 10th win in the last 12 games for Michigan State,
which could lock up a fifth league title in seven years with wins
at Michigan and Penn State and a victory over visiting Wisconsin.

The Spartans led 30-26 at halftime after building a 28-18
cushion. Michigan State had nine steals in the first 20 minutes to
gain that advantage.

With Ager hitting 3-pointers from each corner, the Spartans
stretched their lead to 51-37 with a 16-5 run. Northwestern
answered with six straight points but never got closer than eight
before the finish.