Men’s Top 25 basketball: Northwestern falls to No. 9 Michigan State
Published: February 14, 2014 11:13AM
Updated: February 14, 2014 12:28AM

East Lansing, Mich. • Adreian Payne had 20 points and 14 rebounds, and No. 9 Michigan State cruised past Northwestern 85-70 on Thursday night to stay tied atop the Big Ten.

The Spartans (21-4, 10-2) are even in the standings with rival Michigan — and those two teams meet in Ann Arbor on Feb. 23.

Gary Harris added 14 points for Michigan State, rebounding a bit from a poor shooting performance in a loss to Wisconsin last weekend. The Spartans shot 53 percent from the field against a Northwestern team that came in with a sterling defensive reputation.

The Wildcats (12-13, 5-7) had not allowed 80 points in a game in over a month.

Michigan State was without point guard Keith Appling, who has been bothered by a wrist injury.

No. 18 Creighton 68, Butler 63 • In Indianapolis, Doug McDermott scored 26 points and made the go-ahead 3-pointer with 47.8 seconds left to give Creighton a win over Butler.

The Bluejays (20-4, 10-2 Big East) have won five of six and 15 of 17, and are now within a half game of No. 6 Villanova in the conference standings.

Kellen Dunham had 16 points and Alex Barlow added 13 for Butler (12-13, 2-11), which has lost four straight.

After leading most of the first half, Creighton found itself in a back-and-forth struggle most of the second half and couldn’t fend off Butler’s charges until McDermott hit the 3 to make it 64-63.