No. 4 Michigan State, Northwestern start Big Ten play

No. 4 Michigan State (6-0, 0-0) vs. Northwestern (3-1, 0-0)

Welsh-Ryan Arena, Evanston, Illinois; Sunday, 7 p.m. EST

BOTTOM LINE: No. 4 Michigan State visits Northwestern as conference play starts for both teams. In conference play last season, Michigan State finished with 14 wins and six losses, while Northwestern won three games and lost 17.

STEPPING UP: Joey Hauser and Aaron Henry have led the Spartans. Hauser is averaging 13.3 points and 10 rebounds while Henry is putting up 12.2 points, six rebounds and 5.2 assists per game. The Wildcats have been led by juniors Chase Audige and Miller Kopp. Audige has averaged 15.5 points and 4.8 rebounds while Kopp has put up 16.3 points per game.JUMPING FOR JOEY: Hauser has connected on 42.3 percent of the 26 3-pointers he’s attempted and has gone 9 for 17 over the last three games. He’s also made 68.8 percent of his free throws this season.

ACCOUNTING FOR ASSISTS: The Spartans have recently used assists to create baskets more often than the Wildcats. Northwestern has an assist on 63 of 91 field goals (69.2 percent) over its previous three contests while Michigan State has assists on 76 of 100 field goals (76 percent) during its past three games.

DID YOU KNOW: The Northwestern offense has recorded a turnover on only 13.2 percent of its possessions, which is the ninth-best rate in the country. The Michigan State defense has forced opposing teams to turn the ball over on just 15 percent of all possessions (ranked 310th among Division I teams).


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