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Thursday's basketball: Michigan State women pull away from Northwestern

The Associated Press
Shay Colley, shown here in a January game against Michigan, scored 10 of her 14 points in the second half, leading a balanced attack that helped ninth-seeded Michigan State pull away from eighth-seeded Northwestern, 68-52, in the second round of the Big Ten conference tournament on Thursday.

Indianapolis — Shay Colley scored 10 of her 14 points in the second half, leading a balanced attack that helped ninth-seeded Michigan State pull away from eighth-seeded Northwestern, 68-52, in the second round of the Big Ten conference tournament on Thursday.

The Spartans were up 39-32 at half, but lost that with a scoring drought to start the second half before starting an 16-0 run in in the third period and cruising into a quarterfinal matchup with top-seeded and eighth-ranked Maryland.

Nia Clouden and Jenna Allen had 11 points for Michigan State (20-10), and Taryn McCutcheon 10.

Abbie Wolf had 15 points for the Wildcats (16-14), Pallas Kunaiyi-Akpanah added 11 and Veronica Burton 10.

Kunaiyi-Akpanah made consecutive layups to cap an 8-0 run that put Northwestern up 49-30 four minutes into the second half. Colley’s 3-pointer just past the midway point ended MSU’s drought and she followed with a layup. It wasn’t until Clouden had a pair of baskets in the closing 8-0 run that made it 55-44 after three quarters that the Spartans got some separation. Four different players scoring in the 8-0 run that opened the fourth quarter.

Northwestern shot 35 percent for the game, 31 percent in the second half and missed 12 straight shots during the game-turning run.

More Big Ten women's tournament

Wisconsin 74, Ohio State 63: Kelly Karlis scored a career-high 24 and Marsha Howard added 23 and 13th-seeded Wisconsin dominated the fourth quarter to defeat fifth-seeded Ohio State in the second-round of the Big Ten Conference tournament.

Howard also had 11 rebounds, five assists and three steals for the Badgers (15-17), who face fourth-seeded Michigan in the quarterfinals today.

Karlis and Suzanne Gilreath closed the third quarter with back-to-back 3-pointers but Ohio State (14-14) still led 46-43 entering the fourth quarter. Howard pushed the run to 10-0 with the first two baskets of the final period.

The teams swapped the lead before Imani Lewis and Karlis hit 3-pointers sandwiched around two Howard free throws for a 58-51 lead with 6:14 to go. A 3-pointer by Niya Beverley and a Karlis layup had the lead at 63-53 with 4:11 to go and from there the Badgers made 10 of 12 free throws to seal the game.

Wisconsin, which lost to the Buckeyes by 11 at home a week earlier and by two in the first meeting, went 7 of 9 from 3-point range in the second half and 11 of 17 for the game, shooting 50 percent in the second half.

Carmen Grande led the Buckeyes with 12, Carly Santoro added 11 and Dorka Juhasz, who had 16 rebounds, was one of three with 10 points.

Indiana 66, Minnesota 58: Ali Patberg scored 20 points, Brenna Wise added 19 and 10th-seeded Indiana beat No. 7 seed Minnesota. Patberg and Wise combined to go 6 of 8 for all of the Hoosiers’ 3-point field goals with Indiana (20-11) shooting 46 percent overall. Jaelynn Penn added 11 points and eight rebounds. Bendu Yeaney had eight assists.

Destiny Pitts scored 25 points but missed all seven of her attempts from the arc for the Gophers (20-10), who made only 1 of 15 3-point tries but sank all 17 of their free throws. Kenisha Bell added 15 points – going over 1,700 in her career – and grabbed nine rebounds.

Minnesota led only after making the opening basket. Indiana went ahead by 10 after one quarter and led by 14 at halftime. The Gophers only got as close as six in the final 2½ minutes, but no closer.

Indiana will play No. 10-ranked and second-seeded Iowa in the quarterfinals.

Purdue 75, Nebraska 71: Dominique Oden scored 20 points and Purdue held off Nebraska's late rally.

Ae'Rianna Harris added 13 points, 14 rebounds and blocked three shots for No. 11 seed Purdue (19-14), which had five in double-figures scoring.  Harris has 100 blocks this season for the Boilermakers, who play third-seeded Rutgers in a quarterfinal on Friday.

Nebraska trailed 64-51 with 7:32 to play before Hannah Whitish, Taylor Kissinger, and Sam Haiby combined to make five 3-pointers during a 17-5 run that pulled the Cornhuskers to 69-68 with two minutes remaining. Purdue scored the next four points and led 73-68 with 48 seconds left, and then the Cornhuskers missed four of their last five field-goal attempts.

Big Ten men

(At) No. 21 Wisconsin 65, Iowa 45: Ethan Happ had 21 points and 14 rebounds in his final home game. Fellow senior Khalil Iverson added 11 points and 11 rebounds for the Badgers (21-9, 13-6 Big Ten).

The Hawkeyes (21-9, 10-9) played without coach Fran McCaffery as he completed a two-game suspension for an outburst at an official Feb. 26. They had a season-low points total – 20 below their previous low – and shot a season-worst 31 percent from the field.

Jordan Bohannon led Iowa with eight points.

Iowa’s post players couldn’t stay on the floor. Luka Garza went to the bench in the first half after being whistled for his second foul with nearly 9 minutes left. Nicholas Baer followed a few minutes later Then it was Jared Cook’s turn in the second half. He was whistled for his third foul less than 4 minutes into the half, came back five minutes later and was promptly hit with his fourth. After scoring 19 and grabbing 15 rebounds in the two teams’ first meeting Nov. 30, Cook was scoreless and had seven rebounds.

Wisconsin turned Iowa’s 25 fouls into 27 free throws, making just 17.

Indiana 92, (at) Illinois 74: Juwan Morgan scored 20 points and grabbed 9 rebounds. The win could land Indiana (16-14, 7-12 Big Ten) a low-seed berth in the NCAA Tournament.

Rob Phinisee added 17 points and Justin Smith 15 points for the Hoosiers.

Ayo Dosunmu led the Illini with 16 points, while Giorgi Bezhanishvili and Trent Frazier added 15 and 13 points, respectively.

The loss closed out the home season for Illinois (11-19, 7-12).

The Hoosiers were in control for most of the game, leading by as many as 22 points before Illinois went on a 6-0 run to close to within 13 points at 80-67 with 5:22 left. But Indiana took advantage of an obviously tired Illinois defense and iced the game.

Despite hitting 7 of 13 three-pointers in the first half, Illinois seemed out of synch and trailed 52-42 at the half.

Top 25

(At) No. 12 Houston 90, SMU 79: Armoni Brooks had 20 points and 10 rebounds, Corey Davis Jr. added 17 points and Houston rebounded from its second loss of the season.

With No. 25 Central Florida’s 58-55 home victory over No. 20 Cincinnati, the Cougars (28-2, 15-2) clinched at least a share of the American Athletic Conference regular-season title and the No. 1 seed in next week’s conference tournament. The last time Houston won a regular-season championship was when it shared the Southwest Conference title in 1991-92.

Brooks made six 3-pointers, Davis had four and the Cougars shot 53 percent overall, going 12 of 29 from behind the arc. Breaon Brady added 16 points, Galen Robinson Jr. had 11, and Houston turned 15 SMU turnovers into 22 points.

The 28 regular-season tied the 1967-68 team, which included Hall of Famer Elvin Hayes, for most in school history.

Jahmal McMurray had 24 points, and Ethan Chargois added 21 points for SMU (13-16, 5-12).

No. 25 UCF 58, No. 19 Cincinnati 55: B.J. Taylor scored 22 points and UCF held off Cincinnati.

Tacko Fall added 10 points and six rebounds for the Knights (23-6, 13-4 American Athletic). Trevon Scott had 20 points on 9-of-15 shooting and added nine rebounds for the Bearcats (25-5, 14-3).

Taylor broke a tie with two free throws with 1:16 left and made it 57-53 with a layup with 17 seconds to go. Jarron Cumberland cut it to two with a layup with 10 seconds left, and Chad Brown made a free throw for UCF with 9 seconds to go. Cumberland and Can Broome missed 3-point attempts in the final seconds.