Sophomore star Gary Harris lifted up the Spartans while on the road in Evanston, Illinois this week. He led the Spartans with a game-high 14 points, earning a win against the Northwestern Wildcats, 54-40.
"We know that we weren't playing as well as we can offensively," Harris said. "We had to do something defensively to kind of get us going. Get stops and get the lead. That's what we did. That's how we pulled away from them."
While he struggled behind the arch, shooting 0-6 on threes, Harris produced on defense. He snatched four steals, a block, as well as six total rebounds.
Keith Appling supported with 11 points for the night. He notched four assists, three steals, and five boards of his own.
Branden Dawson came off the bench in a big way. While still fighting an illness, he dominated the glass with 11 total rebounds to go along with his three blocks. He scored six points and notched two assist as well.
"Frustrating for him," Izzo said. "Although I have to admit he actually had better suggestions on the bench than he had in the games. I appreciated him as an assistant. I thought he did a good job in the huddles, and sometimes guys grow when they don't play. They appreciate playing."
Wildcat Tre Demps did create problems along the way. He scored a team-high 12 points along with three boards and two assist.
On Saturday the now 16-1(5-0) Spartans will be on the road again as they travel back to Illinois, this time to Champaign where they will face the Illinois Illini. The game is set to start at 8 pm Eastern Time and will air on the Big Ten Network.
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