Northwestern earns crucial Big Ten win against Michigan State, off to 11-1 start

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A 10-1 non-conference start to the season brought Northwestern some early season national attention, but many questioned how the Wildcats would fair once Big Ten Conference play started. The Wildcats answered doubters with an impressive 61-57 victory on Sunday in East Lansing, Michigan against No. 20 Michigan State, the Big Ten’s defending champion.

It was the first time Northwestern won at Michigan State since 1993.

Nia Coffey scored 15 points and Christen Inman added 13 as the Wildcats (11-1, 1-0) beat the Spartans despite 38 percent shooting and being outrebounded 51-39. Northwestern — which entered the game ranked 16th nationally in field goal defense, second only to Rutgers among Big Ten teams — held Michigan State to 29 percent shooting and just 9 of 37 in the first half. Northwestern had won 10 consecutive games to open the season, its longest streak since 1995, before losing at Arizona State 88-75 on Dec. 21.

The Wildcats’ next test in Big Ten play comes when they play host to Wisconsin on Jan. 1.

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