EAST LANSING, Mich. — Durrell Summers started each half with an alley-oop dunk and finished with a season-high 24 points and 10 rebounds, leading No. 5 Michigan State to a 79-70 win over Northwestern on Saturday night.
The Spartans (19-3) are off to their first 9-0 start in Big Ten play.
John Shurna made six 3-pointers and scored a career-high 31 points for the Wildcats (14-7, 3-6). Shurna had 20 points midway through the second half, while his teammates combined for just 19.
Michigan State opened the second half with an 18-4 run after leading by just two at halftime following six lead changes and four ties.
Kalin Lucas had 23 points, Draymond Green had nine points, 11 rebounds and four assists, and Delvon Roe scored 13 for the Spartans.
Raymar Morgan fouled out without a point on an 0-for-5 night after missing only one of 15 shots in the previous two games — a pair of one-point wins on the road against Michigan and Minnesota.
Summers has been inconsistent throughout his three-year career, impressing NBA scouts with his jaw-dropping talent and befuddling those same people during games in which he is barely noticed.
The 6-foot-4 guard was at his best against the Wildcats.
He soared for alley-oop dunks to open each half against their zone, made 3-pointers, pull-up jumpers and dunked in a half-court set late in the game when they were rallying.
Summers’ performance rivaled the 21-point, 11-rebound game he had in a win this season against Gonzaga, when he set a season high and broke his career mark in rebounds.
The junior from Detroit was held scoreless this season against Wisconsin and The Citadel, but might be showing signs of dependability. He was spectacular one game after scoring 10 and grabbing 10 rebounds in Tuesday night’s thriller over Michigan.
As dominant as Summers and the Spartans were at times, they couldn’t put Northwestern away.
Drew Crawford made a 3-pointer with 2 minutes left, giving the Wildcats a second player with double digits in scoring and pulling them within eight points. Crawford and Jeremy Nash finished with 12 points each.
Shurna’s layup made it 71-65 with 1½ minutes left and that shot matched the previous career high of 29 he had Jan. 2 in a 21-point loss to Michigan State.
The Spartans made enough free throws the rest of the way to avoid getting stunned by Northwestern at home for the second straight season.