Indianapolis, IN (SportsNetwork.com) - Branden Dawson had 16 points and nine rebounds and No. 22 Michigan State routed Northwestern, 67-51, in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament on Friday night.
Gary Harris filled the stat sheet with 13 points, seven rebounds, three assists, three blocks and two steals for the third-seeded Spartans (24-8), who will face second-seeded Wisconsin in the semifinals on Saturday.
"I'm just proud of the way we played defensively," MSU head coach Tom Izzo said. "Our overall defense until the last seven minutes was exceptional."
Drew Crawford netted 21 points to lead 11th-seeded Northwestern (14-19), which upset Iowa in the first round Thursday.
"I thought their speed and their intensity, them knowing that we played such a hard-fought game last night, I thought they did exactly what they needed to do by coming out with amazing energy and defensive intensity, and it got us on our heels a little bit early," Northwestern head coach Chris Collins said.
The game was tied 10-10 before the Spartans began to pull away following a 12-2 run. Dawson supplied the first two baskets of the burst, which was capped on a Kenny Kaminski triple for a 22-12 MSU margin with 6:40 to go in the opening half.
Matt Costello poured in the first five points of a 7-0 spurt that staked MSU to a 40-20 margin. The Spartans took a 40-22 cushion into the break.
MSU led by as many as 24 in the second half before cruising to the easy win.