EAST LANSING, Michigan (Ticker) -- Michigan State handed Northwestern a dose of reality.
Maurice Ager scored 18 points and Paul Davis added 17 as the 19th-ranked Spartans routed the shorthanded Wildcats, 87-58, in a Big Ten Conference contest.
Davis made 8-of-10 shots and also grabbed nine rebounds for Michigan State (10-2, 2-0 Big Ten), which won its seventh straight game.
Already without starting forward Davor Duvancic, the Wildcats were further weakened by the illness that limited starting guard T.J. Parker to just five minutes and no points. Forward Vedran Vukusic left after injuring his shoulder midway through the first half, although he returned early in the second.
"I felt for Northwestern," Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said. "When you have three guys out like that, it's hard to judge what we did and what they did."
The Spartans have opened conference play 2-0 for the first time since 2000 while the Wildcats were denied their first 2-0 start since 1983.
Mike Thompson paced Northwestern with 16 points and Vukusic added 12.
"They took us out of what we wanted to do in the first half, in the first eight minutes or so," Wildcats coach Bill Carmody said. "They forced three 35-second violations. We definitely didn't want quick shots, but we just turned the ball over so many times."
Northwestern (8-6, 1-1) was coming off a 75-52 victory over Indiana, but the Wildcats were no match for the stingy Spartans, who are allowing under 58 points per game during their winning streak.
The Wildcats actually shot a higher percentage than the Spartans - 56 percent to 55 percent - but they attempted 28 fewer shots. Michigan State held a 13-3 edge on the offensive boards.
"Even though Northwestern shot 56 percent, which makes us look bad, Northwestern had 19 turnovers and got only 32 shots," Izzo said. "I would say our defense was better than anything else that we could have done."
Alan Anderson contributed 13 points for Michigan State and Kelvin Torbert chipped in with 12 off the bench.
Northwestern stayed close early, pulling within 14-11 on Vukusic's 3-pointer with 10:38 left in the first half. But Michigan State took control with a 10-1 spurt, building a 24-12 advantage on Ager's two free throws with 7:14 remaining.
Ager was held to 12 points in Wednesday's 84-58 victory over Penn State.
"It was great to see Maurice Ager bounce back and Paul Davis almost get a double-double," Izzo said. "I believe that we can get even more out of him."
The final score represented Michigan State's biggest lead.