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MSU basketball survives upset scare to beat Northwestern

Michigan State basketball may have just secured a spot in the NCAA Tournament.

The Spartans needed some late-game heroics to fend off Northwestern and snap a three-game losing streak, 53-49. Michigan State outscored the Wildcats 11-to-4 in the final six minutes to pick up a massive win for their NCAA Tournament life.

Michigan State was fortunate to be in striking distance at halftime after arguably its worst half of basketball all season long. The Spartans’ offense was completely out of sync for the entire first half shooting a season-low field goal percentage for a half at 21.9 percent. Northwestern held a 25-20 lead at the break.

Things got off to a much better start in the second half, putting together an early run to grab the lead back in the first few minutes of the frame. Michigan State would lead most of the second half, but Northwestern would never go away and reclaimed the lead with 4:28 to go in the game.

Michigan State would defensively lock the Wildcats down from that point, though, and were lucky enough that a three-point attempt from Ryan Langborg in the final seconds would miss to hold two-point lead. Tre Holloman iced the game with two free throws to push Michigan State to the victory.

Michigan State was led offensively by seniors Tyson Walker and Malik Hall who contributed for 19 and 15 points. Holloman also added 12 points in the win.

With the win, Michigan State improves to 18-12 overall and 10-9 in Big Ten play. The win over Northwestern will go a long way in the Spartans returning to the NCAA Tournament again this season.

Michigan State will wrap up the regular season on Sunday in a road game at Indiana. Tipoff is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. ET and will be televised on CBS.

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Story originally appeared on Spartans Wire