Feb. 24, 2012
Northwestern (14-14, 4-11) vs. Michigan State (18-10, 19-5)
Sunday, Feb. 26, 2012
Welsh-Ryan Arena (8,117)
Evanston, Ill. 2 p.m. CT
Streamed Live: NUsports.com
Radio: WNUR, 89.3 FM
In-game Twitter updates: @NU_SportsLIVE
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern closes the door on the regular season Sunday when it welcomes Michigan State to Welsh-Ryan Arena for a 2 p.m. contest. It's Senior Day and NU will be honoring Brittany Orban, Allison Mocchi and Tailor Jones before the game. The game will be streamed live on BTDN. A win against Michigan State would mean the third-straight winning season for NU; a feat that has not been accomplished since the 1994-1997 campaigns.
Northwestern travels to Indianapolis for the 2012 Big Ten Tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The bracket will be set later on Sunday evening, following the games.
Last Time Out...
Northwestern cut what was a 16-point Iowa lead to six points with 30 seconds remaining, but could not overtake the Hawkeyes, falling 70-63 Thursday evening at Welsh-Ryan Arena. Kendall Hackney and Dannielle Diamant paced NU with 16 and 13 points, respectively, while freshman Karly Roser turned in a nine-point effort.
Michigan State Spartans
2011-12 Record: 18-10, 10-5
Series History: Michigan State leads, 37-22
Last Meeting: Feb. 9, 2012 in East Lansing Michigan State 72, Northwestern 58
Of Note: The Spartans enter Sunday's game on the heels of a dominating 73-53 victory over Nebraska Thursday at home. Michigan State is one of the hottest teams in the League right now, having won six out of its last seven games and finding themselves just a game out of second place.
This year's senior class is the winningest group of Wildcats since 1996-97. They have been an integral part of the Wildcats' renaissance, posting 58 victories since the 2008-09 season and guiding the Wildcats to back-to-back postseason appearances. Over the past three seasons (including the current year), head coach Joe McKeown has guided the Wildcats to a combined 51 victories.
No Easy Path
The Big Ten continues to have four teams ranked in the Associated Press (AP) poll, tied with the ACC for the second-most top 25 teams. Ohio State moves to No. 8 this week, its highest spot in the polls since Jan. 3, while Penn State is up to No. 11 for the second time this season, having also checked in at No. 11 on Nov. 15. Purdue and Nebraska also appear in the top 25, with the Boilermakers at No. 22 and the Huskers at No. 23. In the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll, Ohio State appears at No. 14, followed immediately by Penn State at No. 15. Nebraska is ranked 23rd, while Purdue is the first team outside the top 25 receiving votes.
Junior Dannielle Diamant's is leading the Wildcats in scoring in Big Ten games, averaging 15.5 ppg and a team-high 7.6 rpg. She also has turned in double-double performances in three games and has tallied double figures on 18 occasions. After sustaining a concussion at the end of the first half at Michigan State, Diamant missed the remainder of that game, along with the Penn State game. The Las Vegas, native, stormed out of the gates at Nebraska, leading NU with 19 points and eight boards. She contributed a game-high 16 points and eight rebounds at Illinois Monday and 13 points, eight boards on Thursday.
Complete game notes can be found by clicking on the PDF above.
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