EditorsNote: Minor fixes, including style on 3-pointer.
Cassius Winston scored 23 points to lead No. 11 Michigan State to a 67-59 victory over No. 20 Wisconsin on Tuesday night at Madison, Wis.
The victory didn’t come easy for the Spartans (20-5, 11-3 Big Ten), who trailed by seven in the first half and six early in the second. Kenny Goins and Nick Ward each scored 12 points while Goins had nine rebounds.
Wisconsin’s Ethan Happ was the biggest problem for Michigan State as the Badgers senior scored 20 but missed all six of his free throws, all in the second half. Nate Reuvers added 11 points for the Badgers (17-8, 9-5).
Wisconsin got out to a 32-25 lead in the first half before Michigan State grabbed the momentum, scoring eight straight and going on an 11-2 run that featured three straight 3-pointers, one from Kyle Ahrens and two from Winston. Two jumpers from Wisconsin’s Kobe King helped give the Badgers a 38-37 lead headed to the locker room.
Wisconsin scored the first five points of the second half to open a six-point lead, one that disappeared almost as quickly. Michigan State scored the next seven for a 44-43 edge. The lead expanded to 49-43 before Happ responded by scoring the next six points to pull the Badgers even with the Spartans at 49 with 10:50 to play.
The back-and-forth played out from there as Wisconsin went to Happ on nearly every possession. With the score tied at 53, Winston buried a deep 3 over Happ, who answered with another jump hook. Goins split a pair of free throws to put Michigan State up 57-55 with 5:39 to play.
After Brad Davison split a pair of free throws for the Badgers, Aaron Henry hit a jumper from near the free-throw line to give the Spartans a 59-56 lead with 2:20 left in the game. A late triple from Goins put the game away for the Spartans.
—Field Level Media