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Michigan State men’s basketball drops second-straight game, loses to Wisconsin 70-62

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Wisconsin v Michigan State Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images

Following a blowout loss on the road against Rutgers over the weekend, the Michigan State Spartans men’s basketball team returned home to the Breslin Center to take on the Wisconsin Badgers on Tuesday night. MSU lost by a final score of 70 to 62.

Both teams got off to a rough start in the game on the offensive end. At the first media timeout, the score was just 4-2 with the Badgers in the lead. Wisconsin hit just two of its first nine shots, while Michigan State made just one of its first six shots, which was a layup from forward Joey Hauser.

By the next media timeout with 11:18 to play in the first half, Wisconsin had a 12-8 lead. Forward Ben Carlson, guard/forward Johnny Davis and forward Tyler Wahl all got into the scoring action for the Badgers, while center Marcus Bingham Jr. scored five-straight points for the Spartans, and point guard Tyson Walker made one of his two free-throw attempts (his only point of the game).

With under eight minutes to play in the first half, Wisconsin’s lead was at five points, with the Badgers up 16-11. Michigan State forward and team captain Malik Hall converted a three-point play the old-fashioned way just before the next media timeout, making a jumper while getting fouled and hitting the free throw afterward.

Both teams would go on a bit of a scoring drought from there before Wisconsin point guard Chucky Hepburn scored on a second-chance layup after the Badgers pulled down an offensive rebound with 5:30 left to play in the half. Freshman guard Jaden Akins responded for the Spartans with a layup of his own, but Davis hit a three-pointer for Wisconsin on the other end. The Badgers led the Spartans 21-13 with four minutes to play before halftime.

Michigan State then scored four-straight points on a pair of free throws from forward Gabe Brown and a score in the paint from center Julius Marble. The teams would continue to trade baskets before the end of the half, with Hepburn hitting a three-pointer with 12 seconds to go and Bingham hitting a buzzer-beating long two-pointer as time expired in the half.

Wisconsin led 29-23 at halftime. Both teams shot poorly from the floor, with Michigan State going just 8-for-25 overall (32 percent) and 0-5 from three-point range, while Wisconsin went 12-for-29 overall (41.4 percent) and 3-for-11 from behind the arc (27.3 percent). Wisconsin had a slight lead on the boards, out-rebounding MSU 18-17 after the first 20 minutes of play.

Wisconsin scored the first three points of the second half, with Hepburn hitting a jumper and Davis making one free throw. Point guard A.J. Hoggard would then make a pair of free throws to give MSU its first points of the half.

Wisconsin guard Brad Davison hit a three-pointer, but Hall answered back with a three-ball of his own for the Spartans. Carlson then added a layup for the Badgers, and Brown hit another three-pointer for MSU. The Badgers led the Spartans 37-31 with 14:50 left to play in the game.

The teams went back-and-forth over the next four-minute stretch. A layup by Hauser, slam dunk by Hall and three-pointer by Hoggard closed the gap a bit for the Spartans, but Wisconsin lead 43-38 with 11:57 to play. Following the timeout, Hall spun to the basket and slammed the ball once again, cutting UW’s lead to just three points.

By the under-eight-minute media timeout, Michigan State cut the deficit to two points at 47-45. However, Davis drilled a shot from behind the arc after the break, to put the Badgers back up by five points. Later in the half, Davison added another three-pointer for Wisconsin. After a pair of free throws from Bingham, the Badgers led the Spartans 55-51 with 3:34 to play.

Hepburn, Wahl and Davis then scored six-straight points for Wisconsin before Brown answered with a jump shot. The score was then 61-53 in the Badgers’ favor with just 1:31 left to play. Hepburn hit two free throws before freshman shooting guard Max Christie scored three-straight points for the Spartans on a free throw and second-chance jumper.

Davison would then make both of his free throws, and Hauser returned the favor at the other end. A video-reviewed turnover then gave the Spartans the ball back after a bad inbound play by Wisconsin went out of bounds, but Hauser could not convert on his three-point attempt.

Wisconsin would then add more free throws, while Christie scored a layup for the Spartans. Davis then hit a layup with 19 seconds left to play, and Hoggard added a layup for MSU before time expired. The score went final at 70-62 and the Badgers never trailed in this one.

Bingham led Michigan State with 15 points, while Hall added 12 points. No other Spartan reached double figures. Davis led Wisconsin with 25 points, while Wahl and Hepburn each scored 11 points.

Michigan State shot 42 percent from the floor (22-for-53), but just 21 percent from three-point range (3-for-12). Wisconsin shot 47 percent overall (25-for-53) and 33 percent from deep (6-for-18). The Spartans slightly out-rebounded the Badgers with a tally of 33-32 on the glass. However, MSU had 12 turnovers compared to just seven for Wisconsin.

Michigan State has now lost two games in a row and three of the past five contests. The Spartans drop to 17-6 on the season and 8-4 in Big Ten Conference play. Wisconsin improves to 19-4 overall and 10-3 in the Big Ten.

Michigan State will look to rebound against Indiana at the Breslin Center on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. Eastern Time (FOX).