Xavier Tillman got off to a shaky start, filling in for Nick Ward in the starting lineup for No. 10 Michigan State (22-5, 13-3 Big Ten).
Tillman finished strong, scoring a career-high 19 points and grabbing 10 rebounds, and Cassius Winston had 28 points to help the shorthanded Spartans to a 71-60 victory over Rutgers (12-14, 5-11) in East Lansing, Mich., on Wednesday night.
"It's going to bring our team closer together," coach Tom Izzo said. "Whether we'll have enough, I don't know. We'll find out, but I'm not counting us out."
The Spartans moved a half-game ahead of No. 7 Michigan and No. 15 Purdue in the Big Ten standings. They will play against the Wolverines on the road Sunday.
Ohio State 63, Northwestern 49: Kaleb Wesson collected 22 points, eight rebounds and four assists to spark the Buckeyes (17-9, 7-8) over the Wildcats (12-14, 3-12) in Columbus, Ohio.