Hope and change didn't just come to Washington this week, it also swept north up to Evanston, and followed the Northwestern men's basketball team to East Lansing, as the Wildcats stunned the Spartans 70-63. Northwestern's win broke Michigan St.' 28-game long home winning streak. This was also their first win in East Lansing since 1984, and first win on the road over a ranked team since President Eisenhower was in office.
More fun facts about this win:
- Adding the 74-85 win over #18 Minnesota on Sunday, it's the first time Northwestern has defeated back-to-back ranked opponents in school history.
- It's the Wildcats first over a Top 10 team since they defeated Michigan 97-93 in overtime on March 12, 1994.
- The win was the first road victory over a Top 10 team since a 71-65 win at #4 Minnesota on January 3, 1953.
Northwestern won on the back of forward Kevin Coble, who scored 31 points and guard Michael Thompson added 20 points. Michigan State's starters did not serve them as well, as three different starters scored six points or less. Kalin Lucas was Michigan St.'s high scorer with 20 points, and Goran Sutton chipped in with 15, but they weren't given much help. Still, Northwestern's defense was working in that they keep the Spartans from scoring, but at the same time, they won despite being losing badly on the boards, pulling only 19 rebounds in comparison to Michigan St.'s 39.
The Spartans held a thin, one-point lead after the first half, but Northwestern dominated the second half. With five minutes left in the game, Thompson and Craig Moore each hit a three pointer to put the Wildcats ahead, and the team never looked back. They iced the win by hitting all of their final five free throws. Their free throw shooting warmed up at the exact right time, because they only hit 15-19 for the whole game.
Northwestern is 2-2 this year against ranked opponents, and this is the Wildcats' first win over Michigan State in 12 games. Their next game is at Michigan on Saturday.