No More Kohl Curse: Michigan State 63, Wisconsin 60, OT


Beating Wisconsin in the Kohl Center? Yeah, that's good enough reason for this video to make a quick return:


Apart from the usual Wisconsin pace (66 possessions even with the extra five minutes, equating to about 59 in regulation; Statsheet doesn't have anything up yet, so I'm going on the CBS boxscore), this could hardly have been more of a thriller. Neither team led by more than five in regulation. For most of the first half, Wisconsin held a lead as neither team could consistently make layups. After trailing 22-21 at the half, MSU spent most of the first few minutes trading buckets (and the lead) before a Derrick Nix layup with 14 minutes to go put the Spartans up 32-31. Michigan State would not trail the rest of the way, although there would be four more ties.

When Draymond Green picked up his fourth foul with nine minutes to go, Keith Appling took control with eight points in the next six minutes. Unfortunately, the Spartans could not pull away, as Jordan Taylor matched him basket for basket, at one point scoring 12 of Wisconsin's points in a row. MSU's shots went cold again in the final three minutes, and Wisconsin came back from down 50-45 to get Taylor to the free throw line with 36 seconds left and a chance to take the lead. He made the first but missed the second, and after a flurry of timeouts and Wisconsin's spare fouls (they had only been whistled for four to that point, astoundingly none in the first 11 minutes of the half - even Coach Izzo made mention of some disagreements with the refereeing after the game) Appling's off-balance jumper would not go.

In the extra frame, Green hit four free throws in the first minute, matched by two from Taylor and a Ryan Evans layup. MSU would score the next seven points - two Nix baskets, an Appling free throw, and two more FTs from Green - to take a 61-54 lead into the final 30 seconds. Then, for a moment, it seemed that the Kohl Center's magic had returned, as Taylor sank consecutive threes (including a deep, guarded bomb) sandwiching two Appling free throws to cut it to 63-60. With 10 seconds left, Green missed two free throws to give Wisconsin a chance. Taylor was unable to convert a third three-pointer, but Evans got the rebound and quickly dribbled out behind the arc. Evans's shot banked high off the glass and in, and the referees initially counted it, but replay showed that the ball was still in his hands when the backboard clock read 0.0 and the red light came on. Bizarrely, the clock on the display boards around the edges of the arena was not synced with the backboard clock and showed 0.1 left when the ball left Evans's hands, but the referees correctly ruled that the backboard clock was official and the shot was waved off.

Player notes and four factors after the jump.

I'll add the Four Factors graph when Statsheet has it. For now: (Edit: I've got it!- PR)

eFG%: MSU 41.7% (22/55 on 2s, 2/5 on 3s); Wisc 38.0% (13/32 on 2s, 5/22 on 3s)
OR%: MSU 40% (12/30), Wisc 25.7% (9/35)
TO%: Both teams 12.1% (8 TOs each)
FTR: MSU 33.3 (14/20 from the line), Wisconsin 50 (19/27 from the line)

Just like their loss to Iowa this past weekend, Wisconsin bombed away from behind the arc and could not cash in. Both teams took care of the ball well, but MSU's second chances on the glass were enough to offset the big edge Wisconsin held in free throws for most of the game.

Player Notes

Draymond Green: Another quiet double-double: 18 points (albeit on 19 shots + 6/8 FT shooting), 14 rebounds (4 OR), 2 assists. Played the last few minutes of regulation plus overtime with four fouls. Not especially efficient, but came through with 6 points in OT (all on free throws). Did miss the last two that had a chance to put the game permanently out of reach, though.

Keith Appling: The other big scorer on the night, with 16 points (on 14 shots + 3/4 FT shooting), 4 rebounds, 2 assists. Appling was the key contributor for most of the second half.

Derrick Nix: 8 points, four in OT, 4 boards and a block. Had some trouble getting shots to fall early, but then so did everyone. Managed to avoid foul trouble, which is nice on a night when Green, Adreian Payne, and Austin Thornton all had four in regulation (Appling picked up two in OT to join them).

All in all, a win at the Kohl Center (our first since Bo Ryan took over there), our 14th in a row on the year, and a 3-0 start in the Big Ten (which Michigan and Purdue will have a chance to match on Thursday) despite starting with two ranked teams in those three? That's something worth dancing for joy about.

Next up: Iowa at the Breslin Center, next Tuesday at 7:00 ET.

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