INDIANAPOLIS -- Shay Colley scored 10 of her 14 points in the second, leading a balanced that helped ninth-seeded Michigan State pull away from eighth-seeded Northwestern in the second round of the Big Ten conference tournament on Thursday.
The Spartans were up 39-32 at half but lost that with a scoring drought to start the second half before starting an 16-0 run in in the third period and cruising into a quarterfinal matchup with top-seeded and eighth-ranked Maryland.
Nia Clouden and Jenna Allen had 11 points for Michigan State (20-10) and Taryn McCutcheon 10.
Abbie Wolf had 15 points for the Wildcats (16-14), Pallas Kunaiyi-Akpanah added 11 and Veronica Burton 10.
Kunaiyi-Akpanah made consecutive layups to cap an 8-0 run that put Northwestern up 49-30 four minutes into the second half. Colley's 3-pointer just past the midway point ended MSU's drought and she followed with a layup. It wasn't until Clouden had a pair of baskets in the closing 8-0 run that made it 55-44 after three quarters that the Spartans got some separation. Four different players scoring in the 8-0 run that opened the fourth quarter.
Northwestern shot 35 percent for the game, 31 percent in the second half and missed 12 straight shots during the game-turning run.