NEAST
MICHST

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Northeastern closes strong in 81-73 upset of Michigan State

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) Alex Murphy made a 3-pointer from the corner, and a handful of fans behind the Northeastern bench could sense an upset was near.

''Let's go Huskies!'' they began chanting, while the rest of the Breslin Center stayed mostly quiet.

''I think it was the hockey team,'' Murphy said.

Murphy scored 18 points, and the Huskies capped a big day for Northeastern athletics with an 81-73 upset at Michigan State on Sunday night. The game was part of a tripleheader in East Lansing between the schools. Michigan State won the women's basketball game 78-44, and Northeastern beat the Spartans 6-2 in men's hockey.

It was the second head-turning upset of the season for the Huskies in men's basketball. They won at Connecticut last month. In between that game and this one, Northeastern (6-5) lost to the likes of LIU Brooklyn, Cornell and Stony Brook.

''I tell my guys each and every year that we want to compete against the very best that the country has to offer, to make sure that we can measure ourselves and get better,'' Northeastern coach Bill Coen said. ''We want to compete against national championship-caliber programs, and that's what Michigan State is and always has been.''

Cassius Winston had 21 points and 10 assists for the Spartans (7-5), who trailed 36-32 at halftime and could never take control.

Michigan State went on a 17-4 run in the second half and led 51-45 before T.J. Williams made a 3-pointer, snapping a string of nine straight missed field goals by Northeastern. The Huskies took the lead back before too long, and with the score 64-61, the 6-foot-8 Murphy made a layup followed by his big 3-pointer from in front of the Northeastern bench, making it an eight-point game with 2:47 remaining.

That was when the Northeastern fans started chanting.

BIG PICTURE

Northeastern: The Huskies are certainly a hard team to figure out. They've now beaten a couple big-name programs - although UConn and Michigan State aren't exactly at their best right now. Northeastern showed impressive resolve, recovering nicely from a rough stretch in the second half and eventually closing the game out comfortably.

Michigan State: The Spartans were without freshman standout Miles Bridges, who missed his fourth straight game with a left ankle injury. Michigan State let this game get away from the 3-point line, where Northeastern went 11 of 23 and the Spartans were only 5 of 16. Michigan State was held to single-digit margins in home wins this month against Oral Roberts and Tennessee Tech, and this time the Spartans were victimized by an upset.

PLAYING TIME

Michigan State's Eron Harris played only 23 minutes. Coach Tom Izzo was blunt when asked repeatedly about Harris' playing time in the postgame news conference.

''Why are you concerned about Harris? (He was) sitting next to me because he didn't play very good - period. So I don't know what the deal is,'' Izzo said. ''I don't mean to jump you about it, but you want to know why he didn't? He didn't guard, he didn't play very hard, he didn't play very smart, he took a couple bad shots, and he wasn't playing the way he has to play.''

CLEAVES ON HAND

Former Michigan State star Mateen Cleaves was at the game, less than two weeks after a judge dismissed sex charges against him. Cleaves was accused of sexually assaulting a woman in 2015, but charges were dismissed Dec. 5.

In the Michigan State locker room after the game, Cleaves would not comment on the case.

UP NEXT

Northeastern: The Huskies have another game in Michigan coming up Tuesday night when they play at Oakland.

Michigan State: The Spartans' next game is also against Oakland, on Wednesday night in East Lansing. That's Michigan State's last game before starting Big Ten play.

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More AP college basketball: www.collegebasketball.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25 .

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Follow Noah Trister at www.Twitter.com/noahtrister

Copyright 2016 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.

Key Players
T. Williams
M. Bridges
22 G/F
32.5 Min. Per Game 32.5
16.6 Pts. Per Game 16.6
2.0 Ast. Per Game 2.0
8.8 Reb. Per Game 8.8
51.8 Field Goal % 47.7
40.7 Three Point % 38.5
75.2 Free Throw % 53.8
+ 3 Cassius Winston made 3-pt. jump shot 17.0
+ 1 T.J. Williams made 2nd of 2 free throws 23.0
  T.J. Williams missed 1st of 2 free throws 23.0
  Personal foul on Cassius Winston 23.0
  Lost ball turnover on Alvin Ellis III 27.0
  Defensive rebound by Alvin Ellis III 29.0
  Bolden Brace missed 2nd of 2 free throws 29.0
+ 1 Bolden Brace made 1st of 2 free throws 29.0
  Personal foul on Kyle Ahrens 29.0
+ 1 Cassius Winston made 2nd of 2 free throws 33.0
+ 1 Cassius Winston made 1st of 2 free throws 33.0
Team Stats
Points 81 73
Field Goals 25-55 (45.5%) 26-54 (48.1%)
3-Pointers 11-23 (47.8%) 5-16 (31.3%)
Free Throws 20-24 (83.3%) 16-26 (61.5%)
Total Rebounds 33 31
Offensive 7 8
Defensive 25 22
Team 1 1
Assists 17 17
Steals 5 7
Blocks 2 7
Turnovers 15 14
Fouls 24 22
Technicals 0 1
18 PTS, 6 REB, 2 AST
21 PTS, 1 REB, 10 AST
12T
away team logo Northeastern 6-5 364581
home team logo Michigan State 7-5 324173
Team Stats
away team logo Northeastern 6-5 75.4 PPG 33.6 RPG 14.1 APG
home team logo Michigan State 7-5 78.7 PPG 43.5 RPG 18.7 APG
Key Players
00
A. Murphy F PPG RPG APG FG%
5
C. Winston G 19.1 PPG 3.1 RPG 7.5 APG 47.2 FG%
Top Scorers
A. Murphy F 18 PTS 6 REB 2 AST
C. Winston G 21 PTS 1 REB 10 AST
45.5 FG% 48.1
47.8 3PT FG% 31.3
83.3 FT% 61.5
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
A. Murphy 18 6 2 7/16 3/7 1/1 2 38 2 1 2 2 4
T. Williams 17 9 4 5/13 1/3 6/8 3 40 0 0 7 1 8
D. Begley 16 3 6 2/6 2/4 10/10 4 31 2 0 2 0 3
J. Miller 8 2 1 3/4 2/2 0/0 4 12 0 1 1 1 1
S. Occeus 7 4 0 3/5 1/2 0/0 2 25 0 0 1 1 3
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
A. Murphy 18 6 2 7/16 3/7 1/1 2 38 2 1 2 2 4
T. Williams 17 9 4 5/13 1/3 6/8 3 40 0 0 7 1 8
D. Begley 16 3 6 2/6 2/4 10/10 4 31 2 0 2 0 3
J. Miller 8 2 1 3/4 2/2 0/0 4 12 0 1 1 1 1
S. Occeus 7 4 0 3/5 1/2 0/0 2 25 0 0 1 1 3
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
B. Brace 7 4 2 2/5 2/4 1/3 0 23 0 0 0 0 4
M. Boursiquot 6 3 1 2/2 0/0 2/2 2 15 0 0 1 1 2
S. Ford 2 1 0 1/2 0/0 0/0 4 8 1 0 0 1 0
J. Marshall 0 0 1 0/1 0/1 0/0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0
A. Green 0 0 0 0/1 0/0 0/0 3 7 0 0 1 0 0
V. Pusica - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Gresham Jr. - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 81 32 17 25/55 11/23 20/24 24 200 5 2 15 7 25
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
E. Harris 11 5 1 4/11 2/6 1/2 2 23 0 0 2 0 5
K. Ahrens 9 1 0 4/5 1/2 0/0 4 16 0 0 1 0 1
K. Goins 6 5 0 3/6 0/0 0/0 0 23 1 1 0 3 2
J. Langford 2 2 1 0/4 0/2 2/2 1 20 1 0 0 1 1
L. Nairn Jr. 0 1 1 0/2 0/0 0/0 3 21 1 0 2 0 1
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
E. Harris 11 5 1 4/11 2/6 1/2 2 23 0 0 2 0 5
K. Ahrens 9 1 0 4/5 1/2 0/0 4 16 0 0 1 0 1
K. Goins 6 5 0 3/6 0/0 0/0 0 23 1 1 0 3 2
J. Langford 2 2 1 0/4 0/2 2/2 1 20 1 0 0 1 1
L. Nairn Jr. 0 1 1 0/2 0/0 0/0 3 21 1 0 2 0 1
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
C. Winston 21 1 10 7/8 2/2 5/9 2 33 2 0 3 0 1
N. Ward 15 7 0 5/9 0/0 5/8 2 21 0 6 2 1 6
M. McQuaid 4 1 3 1/6 0/4 2/4 5 22 1 0 2 1 0
M. Van Dyk 3 6 1 1/2 0/0 1/1 0 16 1 0 1 2 4
A. Ellis III 2 1 0 1/1 0/0 0/0 2 5 0 0 1 0 1
B. Carter - - - - - - - - - - - - -
G. Schilling - - - - - - - - - - - - -
C. George - - - - - - - - - - - - -
G. Roy - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Bridges - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Nsengiyumva - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 73 30 17 26/54 5/16 16/26 22 200 7 7 14 8 22