In a bout that featured multiple heavyweight blows and 14 lead changes, Michigan State ultimately outlasted No. 18 Wisconsin in the final minutes for a 69-65 win in Madison.
Tied at 61 with just a couple minutes left in the game, junior guard A.J. Hoggard couldn't miss. The Spartans’ starting point guard scored six of MSU’s final eight points to ice the game for the visitors.
Graduate senior forward Joey Hauser finished with a team high 20 points in his return to his home state.
The Spartan starters carried the offensive load throughout the evening, led by Hauser. The bench was almost invisible for Michigan State, scoring just eight points on the evening.
MSU dominated on the glass, notching 33 boards to the Badgers’ 18. Junior center Mady Sissoko led the team in rebounds, finishing with 11.
The Badgers offense ran through junior forward Steven Crowl, especially in the second half. MSU struggled to deal with his size and strength, especially in the paint. He finished with 19 points, 15 of those coming in the final 20 minutes.
Turnovers were a major source of pain for the Spartans. By the end of the night, Wisconsin scored 27 points off of Michigan State’s 14 turnovers.
Unsurprisingly, MSU’s offense was completely carried by the starters in the first half. Through the first 20 minutes, the bench scored just two points - and those came courtesy of former starter, senior forward Malik Hall.
After a poor showing against Michigan last Saturday, Hauser rebounded with a great first half against the Badgers. He notched a team high 10 points, six of which came from the free throw line, as well as three rebounds.
After a slow, plotting game against Michigan, the Spartans played with all sorts of pace in the opening minutes against the Badgers. Even when the shots weren’t falling, MSU was moving quickly up and down the court. That pace initially favored the visitors, as the Spartans held onto a lead for the first 13 minutes.
After battling back and forth for a stretch, Wisconsin retook the lead near the seven-minute mark of the first half. For the rest of the half, the two teams exchanged leads a handful of times.
The seesaw nature of the first half continued onto the second. After a quick shooting start for both squads in the first couple of minutes, the offenses cooled off and slowed down. Even with a slower pace, Michigan State and Wisconsin continued to go blow for blow.
When Wisconsin re-took its lead roughly 10 minutes into the second, it held onto it for nearly eight minutes. However, a 7-0 run capped off by a triple from Hauser put the Spartans back on top with under two minutes left in the game.
With the game knotted at 61, Hoggard took over the game. He scored MSU’s final six points, driving to the basket twice and tacking on a pair of free throws to seal the victory for Michigan State.
MSU is heading right back to the road this Friday to take on another conference opponent at Illinois.
Support student media!
Please consider donating to The State News and help fund the future of journalism.
Share and discuss “Final: Michigan State outlasts No. 18 Wisconsin, wins seventh straight game” on social media.