A sloppy but hard-fought first half came to an end with the Badgers holding a 28-27 lead on, somewhat fittingly, a goal-tend basket credited to Ryan Evans.
After jumping out to a 19-12 lead on the back of back-to-back three-pointers from Ben Brust (six points) and Mike Bruesewitz (a Badger-high eight), Michigan State clawed back into the game. The Spartans were powered by guard play, with Keith Appling and Branden Dawson combining for 21 of the 27 points, 17 of the team's 27 field goal attempts and seven of its 10 makes. Dawson leads all scorers with 11.
Wisconsin has relied on three-point shooting for much of its offense, pouring in six makes on 17 attempts (35.3 percent). Brust and Bruesewitz made two each, with Berggren and Dekker each adding one.
Free throw shooting continues to be an issue for Wisconsin. Jared Berggren made just one of his three attempts and George Marshall split a pair late in the half, putting the Badgers at a discouraging 40 percent for the game.