No. 8 Michigan State Returns to Conference Play Wednesday vs. Northwestern

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East Lansing, Mich. – Michigan State’s men’s basketball team starts the New Year with a return to Big Ten Conference play, hosting Northwestern at the Breslin Center on Wednesday, Jan. 2. Tipoff is slated for 8:30 p.m.
On the Air
The game will air live on BTN, with Dave Revsine calling the play-by-play and Jon Crispin serving as the color analyst. The Spartan Sports Network radio call can be heard on one of 38 affiliates and on the web at, with Will Tieman handling the play-by-play and Matt Steigenga serving as the color analyst. The game can also be heard on Sirius 134, XM 195 and Internet 957.
Michigan State, winners of its last six games and 10 of the last 11 overall, enters the game on Wednesday with an 11-2 overall record and a 2-0 mark in the Big Ten. The Spartans are ranked No. 8 in the country in the Associated Press poll and No. 7 in the USA Today Coaches poll. Northwestern, winners of three of its last four games, enters the game with a 9-4 overall record and an 0-2 mark in the league.
Last Time Out
Junior Cassius Winston (Detroit, Mich./University of Detroit Jesuit) scored 24 points and tied a career-high with six 3-pointers as No. 8 Michigan State beat Northern Illinois, 88-60, on Dec. 29. Winston led three players in double figures with 26 points, connecting on 8-of-10 shots from the floor, including 6-of-7 from beyond the arc, and adding seven assists and no turnovers. Redshirt senior Kenny Goins (Troy, Mich./Warren Mott) added 12 points, three rebounds, three assists and a career-high four blocked shots, while junior forward Nick Ward (Gahanna, Ohio/Lincoln) added 11 points and seven rebounds and sophomore forward Xavier Tillman (Grand Rapids, Mich./GR Christian) added eight points, 13 rebounds, four assists and three blocked shots.
About the Spartans
• Through 13 games, Winston leads the team with 17.5 points per game and 7.5 assists per game ... Winston is tied for sixth in the Big Ten in scoring and is No. 4 in the country in assists per game.
• Nick Ward is second on the team with 16.1 points and third on the team with 6.3 rebounds ... He is 13th in the Big Ten in scoring and ranks fifth in the league, and is No. 9 nationally in field goal percentage, connecting on 67.3 percent of his shots.
• Langford is third on the team in scoring with 15.0 points per game, while adding 3.6 rebounds and 2.3 assists.
• Tillman is fourth on the team in scoring with 8.2 points and second with 8.2 rebounds, while Goins is sixth on the team in scoring with 6.5 points and leads the team with 9.2 rebounds per game, which ranks No. 44 nationally.
• Senior guard Matt McQuaid (Duncanville, Texas/Duncanville) is averaging 7.6 points, 2.1 rebounds and 2.4 assists ... Redshirt junior Kyle Ahrens (Versailles, Ohio/Versailles) is averaging 5.6 points and 2.8 rebounds.
• MSU ranks No. 9 in the country in scoring offense (87.6 ppg) and No. 13 in field goal percentage (50.2%).

The Series
• The game on Wednesday, Jan. 2 between Michigan State and Northwestern will be the 129th meeting between the schools.
• MSU leads the all-time series with Northwestern, 90-38, including a 50-8 advantage in games played at home.
• The Spartans have won the last six games at home ... Northwestern’s last win at Michigan State came on Jan. 21, 2009.
About Northwestern
• Redshirt senior guard Vic Law leads the team in scoring with 18.9 points per game, which ranks fourth in the Big Ten ... Law is tied for the team lead in 3-pointers (31, 40.8%) and is second on the team with 6.5 rebounds.
• Senior center Derek Pardon is second on the team with 13.8 points and leads the team with 8.8 rebounds, which ranks fifth in the league.
• Graduate guard Ryan Taylor is third on the team with 12.8 points per game and redshirt junior guard A.J. Turner is averaging 9.5 points and leads the team with 3.2 assists per game.
• Northwestern ranks 11th in the Big Ten in scoring offense (73.5 ppg) and third in the league in scoring defense, allowing just 61.6 points per game.