Gary Harris scored 14 points and No. 4 Michigan State beat Northwestern 54-40 for its ninth straight win. The Spartans are 16-1 overall and 5-0 in Big Ten play.
It was hardly an easy night for the Spartans. They overcame a sluggish start and pulled away down the stretch even though they struggled in a big way from the outside.
They were 2 of 16 on 3-pointers with Harris missing all six and Keith Appling going 0 for 3. Harris did have four steals, and Appling managed to score 11 points.
Michigan State was without one of its top players, 6-foot-10 Adreian Payne, who missed his second straight game with a sprained foot.
In other AP Top-25 hoops:
-- Ninth-ranked Oklahoma State walloped TCU 82-50. The Cowboys are 15-2 overall. Marcus Smart led the Cowboys with 20.
---- Tenth-ranked San Diego State went to 15-1 with a 68-60 win over Fresno State. Xavier Thames (taymz) scored 28. The Aztecs have won 14 in a row.
---- Jaye Crockett had 19 points, Toddrick Gotcher added 17 and Texas Tech beat No. 12 Baylor 82-72.
-- Chaz Williams had 26 points and eight assists, Derrick Gordon made a go-ahead layup with 8 seconds left and No. 16 Massachusetts beat George Mason 88-87.
-- Dwayne Evans scored 18 points and No. 24 Saint Louis won its first game since breaking into the Top 25 for the first time, holding off St. Bonaventure 66-60.