The Spartans only lost by seven points as, being up by as much as 22 points in the second half, Wisconsin took their foot off the gas. As soon as anyone other than Frank Kaminsky or Nigel Hayes started to score, Michigan State had no way to keep up.
No Surprise: #5 Wisconsin, they're really good.
Wisconsin has only lost three games this season, and due to Wisconsin's collective size, this was already bad match-up for MSU. Add in that Wisconsin was at home, where they haven't lost in Big Ten play, and, that they were especially focused not only because it was their Senior Day but because they were coming off of their third loss of the season, and it was all too much for this Spartans team to handle.
Wisconsin's strengths: Efficient offense, they rarely turn the ball over, and they rarely foul...how did that work out for MSU?
Not so well...
Wisconsin shot 52% from the field, though MSU did hold the Badgers to only 4 of 14 from beyond the arc. Frank Kaminsky extended his game out into three-point land and hit 3 of 4 of his three-point shots.
Wisconsin leads the nation in the fewest fouls (12.7 per game) and fewest turnovers (7.5 per game). The Badgers only committed 9 fouls on the game and only turned the ball over 8 times.
1) Bryn Forbes scored 21 points, shot 8 of 9 from the field, and hit all 5 of his three-point shots. Now, if only we could get a more consistent half-of-that from the Lansing Sexton alum.
2) Dishin' Colby Wollenman with a Magic-like (though out of desperation) bounce-find of an open Bryn Forbes for a wide- open three. Hopefully Wollenman is okay after smashing head-on into Marvin Clark going after a loose ball.
3) Matt Costello's block of Frank Kaminsky. Costello was ready for Kaminsky--knew what he had, and Costello blocked Kaminsky's first post move against him.
Those Spartans who came to play...
Matt Costello: He was looking forward to the match-up with possible POY Frank Kaminsky. After an early Costello block, Kamnisky stepped out where Costello didn't really want to go and hit two three pointers. The Spartans had no answer for Kaminsky who scored a season-high 31 points. Costello, in 24 minutes played, scored 8 points and grabbed 5 rebounds and did impressively block a Kaminsky shot, one-on-one.
Travis Trice: Wisconsin's most notable weakness is that they are vulnerable to guards who can drive and get to the rim. Trice took advantage and got to the rim, but Trice lacks those couple of extra inches and the strength to finish against the Wisconsin length. Trice scored 16 points, but it took him 14 shots to get there.
Those Spartans who didn't come to play...
Branden Dawson: Coach Izzo not starting his senior didn't light a fire under Branden Dawson, as Dawson had no first half rebounds, no first half points (only forcing a shot because he got scored on), and on defense, Nigel Hayes, on his way to 14 points, scored on Dawson right away, drew a foul on Dawson, and then scored on Dawson two more times, one-on-one. Dawson gave a greater effort in the second half but with the Spartans pretty much out of the game it was too-little, too-late. Dawson only played 21 minutes, only grabbed 2 rebounds, only scored 4 points, and turned the ball over 3 times.
Gavin Schilling: Gavin Schilling missed an early shot in close, picked up two quick fouls, and was nowhere to be found until the final minutes of the game when Schilling did put out at least a good effort. Schilling played 13 minutes, grabbed 6 rebounds, but committed 4 fouls.