EAST LANSING, Mich (WSAU-TSN) Appling scored a game-high 19 points and No. 10 Michigan State shut down No. 22 Wisconsin, 58-43, to keep its hopes of a Big Ten regular season title alive.
Michigan State had dropped three in a row coming in -- all to ranked opponents -- and was seemingly out of the conference title race.
But after Thursday's convincing win, which saw the Badgers shoot a pitiful 29 percent from the field, the Spartans (23-7, 12-5 Big Ten) can gain a share of the Big Ten crown on the final day of the regular season with a win over Northwestern and a Michigan victory over front-running Indiana on Saturday.
"It's my dream that this program is to the point where every year in the last week, week and a half, last two, three games, we still have a mathematical chance to win a championship," Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo said.
Gary Harris chipped in 11 points and Adreian Payne totaled nine points and 11 rebounds in the rout.
Wisconsin (20-9, 11-5) has dropped five straight against Michigan State and eight in a row in East Lansing. The Badgers were done in by lengthy scoring droughts in their lowest scoring output of the season, including a seven- minute stretch early in the second half that turned a five-point deficit into a devastating 21-point hole.
Ben Brust led the Badgers with 10 points, while Ryan Evans finished with nine points and 11 rebounds in the setback.
A typically slow-paced first half between these rivals ended with Travis Trice draining a 3-pointer to give the hosts a 25-18 lead.
Jared Berggren opened the second-half scoring with a jumper, but the Badgers missed their next 12 shots as Michigan State began pulling away.
"You just can't have those spells," Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan said.
Appling highlighted the game-altering 16-0 flurry with a pair of three-point plays, the last pushing the margin to 41-20 with under 12 1/2 minutes to go.
The closest it got from there was the final score.