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Forward leads MSU past rival Michigan, other scores

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Associated Press
February 6, 2012
— Michigan State’s Draymond Green made good on his guarantee against Michigan with the best game of his career in the series.

Green had 14 points and 16 rebounds to lead the ninth-ranked Spartans to a 64-54 win over the 23rd-ranked Wolverines on Sunday, ending a three-game losing streak in the rivalry.


“You can’t say something and not back up your words,” he said. “I’d be less of a man to guarantee something, promise something and not come out here and do what I can to back up my word.”


The Spartans (18-5, 7-3 Big Ten) moved into sole possession of second place in the conference behind third-ranked Ohio State.


“It was more about the rivalry than it was the Big Ten,” Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said.


For Green, it was really personal.


He hadn’t played particularly well in the past against the Wolverines and this was the last scheduled shot for the Saginaw native to beat a team he acknowledges hating.


“I don’t care where you’re from, it never means as much as it does for the players in state and that’s one of the reasons I believe in recruiting in-state guys,” Izzo said.


Green was the center of attention before the game, promising to play after spraining his left knee in a loss Tuesday night at Illinois and saying only death could have kept him off the court.


“It wasn’t hurting,” he said. “I felt great.”


The do-it-all forward vowed Michigan State would win Sunday’s game after his floating 10-footer and tip-in attempt in the final seconds of last month’s setback in Ann Arbor. Michigan had won three straight times in the rivalry for the first time since winning five in a row from 1996 to 1998.


“The world is back into place,” Green said.


Green soared for a defensive rebound in the final minute for his 16th rebound and became just the fourth Big Ten player to at least equal his opponent’s total in a conference game since the 1996-97 season.


Michigan’s Zach Novak scored 14 points, and Jordan Morgan had 11.


-- Northwestern 74, Illinois 70—At Champaign, Ill., John Shurna scored 24 points to lead Northwestern past Illinois.


Reggie Hearn added 20 points for the Wildcats (14-8, 4-6), who shot 60 percent from the floor to win back-to-back Big Ten games for the first time this season.


Dave Sobolewski scored 14 points, and Drew Crawford had 13 points for Northwestern.


Brandon Paul scored 22 points and Meyers Leonard had 21 for Illinois (16-7, 5-5). Leonard was 10 of 12 from the field, making his first nine shots.


-- Minnesota 69, Nebraska 61—At Lincoln, Neb., reserve guard Chip Armelin scored 15 points and Minnesota took advantage of Nebraska’s poor shooting in the second half to pull away.


Maverick Ahanmisi converted a three-point play and Andre Hollins made a three-pointer at the start of a 9-0 burst that broke a tie and put Minnesota (17-7, 5-6) up 48-39 with 7:22 left.


Nebraska (11-11, 3-8) led 33-32 at halftime, but went 2 for 16 to start the second half and had a stretch of 6½ minutes without a field goal.


Bo Spencer had 18 points, Toney McCray 15 and Brandon Richardson 10 for the Huskers.


The Gophers shot 67 percent in the second half and 54 percent for the game, and held a 31-24 rebounding advantage.



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