Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

73° Evanston, IL
Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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Spartans’ forward Draymond Green shines on both sides of the ball

When Kalin Lucas’s free throw rimmed out with 14 seconds left, it was only fitting that Draymond Green was there for the rebound.

“When I missed the free throw I saw him jump up and hit it,” Lucas said. “I pretty much knew it was going in. He’s just got a good feel.”

Lucas had reason to be confident. After all, it was Green’s third offensive board in the past minute and a half. From Green’s first layup, which put No. 18 Michigan State ahead 2-0, to his last, the 6-foot-6 junior had his way with Northwestern’s defense. Six minutes into the game Green had already notched 10 points, and by the end of the first half he had racked up seven rebounds, two assists and a block. Green’s six defensive rebounds were just four fewer than the Wildcats’ team total of 10.

“I thought the way it started out this could be a monster night (for Green),” coach Tom Izzo said.

While Green cooled off in the second half – managing just three points before tipping in Lucas’s free throw – he still finished the contest with a double-double, his fifth of the season.

Hailed for his basketball IQ, Green was named the Big Ten’s Sixth Man of the Year in 2010. Despite only starting three games, the Saginaw, Mich., native led his squad in rebounding and steals while finishing fourth in scoring.

“No matter what they do, he’s in the middle on defense,” coach Bill Carmody said. “He’s like a point-guard, point-forward, whatever. He’s a really good basketball player, smart as hell.”

With Green as their catalyst, the Spartans out-muscled the Cats. At intermission, 18 of Michigan State’s 35 points had come in the paint, and Izzo’s crew held a 23-14 advantage on the boards.

Green had more trouble in the second half as NU varied its defense, but he still played savior for Michigan State in the final two minutes. On the Spartans’ penultimate possession, Green grabbed two rebounds before drawing a foul on junior John Shurna. One minute later he put back Lucas’s rebound, giving Michigan State a crucial three-point cushion.

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Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881
Spartans’ forward Draymond Green shines on both sides of the ball