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Wisconsin basketball: Badgers' win streak snapped in 69-57 loss to Michigan State

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It's not Valentine's Day anymore, but apparently nobody told that to Denzel Valentine on Thursday night as his Spartans dropped the Badgers, 69-57.

Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

There was simply too much Denzel Valentine for the Wisconsin Badgers.

Michigan State's senior guard showed why his name is in the discussion for National Player of the Year on Thursday night in Wisconsin's 69-57 loss to the eighth-ranked Spartans.

While Valentine, who finished with 24 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds, was in a groove all night, the Badgers (16-10, 8-5 Big Ten) could never find their rhythm and saw their seven-game win streak snapped.

Wisconsin found themselves in an early 14-3 hole, which soon expanded to 23-10 as Valentine either scored or assisted on each of Michigan State's first nine field goals.

A 7-0 surge at the end of the half drew the Badgers to within nine points at 32-23, but the Spartans (22-5, 9-5) spent no time fooling around in the second half.

The Spartans jumped ahead by 17 points on a Bryn Forbes three with 13:32 to play and kept the foot on the gas pedal to close out the game.

Ethan Happ scored 18 points to lead the Badgers, who could never find a groove offensively in what was probably Nigel Hayes' worst game of his career. The junior forward scored a season-low five points on 1-13 shooting from the field and a 3-6 effort at the free throw line.

With Valentine at the helm of the offense, the Spartans worked Wisconsin for 1.095 points per possession. While not an eye-popping number, Michigan State was able to keep the Badgers at arm's length by penetrating with Valentine and finding open shooters.

Their top shooter, Forbes, buried four triples and scored 17 points.

Wisconsin shot a meager 33.9 percent (20-59) and made six of 20 three pointers.

Denzel Valentine or not, it would have been extremely difficult to beat a Tom Izzo-coached team twice in one season with that shooting performance.