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Wisconsin men’s basketball: shorthanded Badgers fall to Michigan State

The Spartans held the lead for the final 34 minutes of the game in a tough loss for the Badgers.

Michigan State v Wisconsin Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images

MADISON — Riding a seven-game winning streak, the No. 8 Wisconsin Badgers men’s basketball team (15-3 overall, 6-2 Big Ten) welcomed No. 14 Michigan State to the Kohl Center on Friday night. The game featured two of the top teams in the Big Ten in front of a sellout crowd with the top spot in the conference on the line.

Playing without Tyler Wahl, the Badgers were no match for the Spartans, falling by 12 points, 86-74.

Early in the contest, Johnny Davis was able to get things going on both ends of the court to give the Badgers an 8-0 lead as Michigan State struggled with turnovers. A 6-0 run by the Spartans would make the score 8-6 at the first media timeout though.

The Badgers would go ice cold over the next few minutes, as Michigan State was able to take a 12-11 lead into the next media timeout. Nothing was falling for Wisconsin as they were 1-of-10 during that stretch.

Michigan State would continue to pour it on over the next five minutes to extend their lead to 13 points with six minutes remaining in the half. The Badgers had no answer for the Spartans front court and were unable to get going offensively. Very little changed over the final minutes of the half, as Michigan State would take a 16-point advantage into the intermission.

Wisconsin come out of halftime looking more competent offensively, but defensively they still struggled to get stops. The Badgers did manage to cut the Michigan State lead by five points in the first eight minutes by making six of seven shots, but the Spartans were nearly just as efficient during the opening moments.

Five straight points by Steven Crowl though would get the Badgers back in it, and by the 10-minute mark, Wisconsin was only down six points.

Michigan State would quickly kill the comeback bid though, following a four-point swing on a Chucky Hepburn technical foul due to his second flop warning. From that point forward the Spartans were able to keep the Badgers at arm's length the rest of the way to secure an 86-74 win at the Kohl Center.

Notable stat lines:

  • Johnny Davis —> 25 points (8-of-20 from the floor), five rebounds, four assists
  • Brad Davison —> 22 points (8-of-12 from the floor), two rebounds, three assists
  • Malik Hall (MSU) —> 14 points (7-of-11 from the floor), eight rebounds, two assists
  • A.J. Hoggard (MSU)—> 12 points (2-of-4 from the floor), four rebounds, eight assists

Up next: Wisconsin is currently scheduled to travel to Nebraska on Tuesday night. The Cornhuskers are dealing with COVID-19 issues in their athletic department so the game is in limbo, but if it does occur the game is scheduled to be aired on BTN at 8 p.m. CT.