EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Keith Appling scored 16 points and Gary Harris added 12 to lift No. 10 Michigan State to a 71-61 win over Northwestern on Sunday night.
The Spartans (24-7, 13-5) were eliminated from Big Ten title contention early in their game when Indiana beat Michigan, and Michigan State struggled to put away the undermanned Wildcats. Northwestern (13-18, 4-14) rallied from a 13-point first-half deficit, tying the game at 51 before the Spartans recovered.
Kale Abrahamson scored 16 points for Northwestern, which has lost eight straight.
Michigan State senior Derrick Nix scored 10 points in his final home game. The Spartans shot 66 percent from the field and 6 of 10 from 3-point range.