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Michigan State Vs. Northwestern Final Score: Spartans Struggle Throughout, Lose 81-74

The Michigan State Spartans were unable to move to a perfect 5-0 within the big ten, and are in danger of falling down the rankings, losing to the Northwestern Wildcads 81-74. Despite the relatively close score, it wasn't very close a game when actually watching. Northwestern seemed firmly in control of the game from the very beginning, despite leading just 39-37 after the first half. Still, the Spartans, now ranked No. 7, will probably fall out of the top ten with this loss.

John Shurna had a big day for the Wildcats, helped by sinking 10 of 11 free throws, but he also sank two three pointers and five shots from the field, good for 22 points, four rebounds, four assists and two blocks. The Spartans were firmly behind in that regard, with Draymond Green leading the way with just 14 points, missing his only free throw. He did make four of his five three point attempts and shot 5-for-9 from the field, though. He had 13 rebounds on top of that, with two assists, a steal and a block.

Things get harder for Michigan State, as they've got the No. 13 Michigan Wolverines on Tuesday coming up. On Wednesday, Northwestern will take on the Wisconsin Badgers.

For more on the Michigan State Spartans, go to The Only Colors. For an opposing view, you can check out Sippin' On Purple. You can also head over to SB Nation's main NCAA Basketball hub at SBNation.com/NCAA-Basketball.