MADISON, WI (WSAU) The Wisconsin men’s basketball team missed 11-of-18 free throws last night – and they lost to 13th-ranked Michigan State, 49-to-47 in Madison.
It was a defensive struggle throughout, as Spartans’ coach Tom Izzo chose not to speed up the Badgers’ deliberative pace. Floor shooting was again a problem for Wisconsin, as it made just 29-point-six percent to Michigan State’s 44. But it was still an extremely close game for the most of the night. Wisconsin led by one at the break – and both teams went four minutes without scoring late in the second half.
Brandon Dawson made one of two free throws to put the Spartans up by four with two minutes to go. Ryan Evans hit a three-pointer to get Wisconsin to within one. Freshman Gary Harris then made one-of-two free throws to give Michigan State its two-point victory margin. Keith Appling led the Spartans with 19, and Dawson had 18 points and 13 rebounds. Mike Bruesewitz scored 10 for Wisconsin, which lost its second straight home game to Michigan State.
The Badgers are now 13-and-6 overall and 4-and-2 in the Big Ten. They dropped into a fourth place tie in the conference with Ohio State. Michigan State is now 17-and-3 overall, and 6-and-1 in the Big Ten. The Spartans have a one-game lead over Michigan and Indiana.
The Badgers will host Minnesota on Saturday. Tonight, the U-W Milwaukee men play at Illinois-Chicago. And the Green Bay men are at Valparaiso.