Michigan State 58, Wisconsin 43
EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Keith Appling broke out of a shooting slump to score 19 points, and Michigan State snapped a three-game losing streak with a 58-43 victory over Wisconsin at Breslin Center on Thursday.
Freshman Gary Harris overcame a scoreless first half to add 11 points, and Adreian Payne had nine points and 11 rebounds for No. 10 Michigan State, which clinched a first-round bye in Big Ten tournament. The Spartans (23-7, 12-5 Big Ten) can gain a share of the conference's regular-season title with a victory over Northwestern on Sunday and an Indiana loss to Michigan.
Ben Brust's 10 points led No. 22 Wisconsin, which has lost eight straight at Breslin and five overall to the Spartans. The Badgers' point total surpassed the team's previous season low of 45, set against Minnesota in January. Ryan Evans added nine points and 11 rebounds for the Badgers (20-9, 11-5).
Appling averaged 17 points in his previous four games against Wisconsin but was on a cold streak, shooting 25 percent from the field in his past five games entering play Thursday. He broke out early in the second half to give his team a commanding lead.
After Wisconsin scored the first basket of the second half, the Spartans reeled off 16 consecutive points to make it 41-20.
Appling had 10 of those points, including two three-point plays. His first one with 14:13 left gave the Spartans a 16-point lead, and his second one finished off the run. The surge included layups by Travis Trice and Appling after Badgers turnovers.
Sam Dekker finally ended Wisconsin's futility with a layup, but the Badgers never recovered.
Averaging 9.45 turnovers per game -- fewest in the NCAA -- the Badgers committed eight in the first half and trailed 25-18 at the break. Both teams shot 33.3 percent as the game was played exclusively in the half court.
The Spartans won the first meeting 49-47 and this one started off the same way, as they led 10-8 at the midway point.
Later, Michigan State scored 10 unanswered points to take a 20-12 lead. Denzel Valentine and Payne had three-point plays during that stretch, and Appling finished it off with a 3-point shot after missing his first three long-range attempts.
Jared Berggren's free throw ended the Badgers' 5:50 drought, and Brust pulled them within four with his lone basket of the half, a 3-pointer. Trice made a 3-pointer at the buzzer to extend the advantage back to seven.
NOTES: Wisconsin's last victory in East Lansing was a 68-64 overtime triumph in March 2004. ... At least one of the teams had been ranked in 22 of the last 23 meetings. This was the eighth time in the last 12 games both schools were ranked. ... Harris' 13.3 scoring average is third best among Spartans freshmen in the program's history, trailing only Magic Johnson (17.0) and Shawn Respert (15.8). ... Wisconsin was the fourth straight ranked opponent the Spartans had played. Michigan State is the only team in the country to have faced four consecutive ranked conference opponents. ... The Badgers have never finished lower than fourth in the Big Ten during Bo Ryan's 12 seasons as coach. ... Wisconsin has an 18-2 record when reaching the 60-point mark. ... Berggren had three offensive rebounds, leaving him one shy of Mike Wilkinson's school record of 79, set in 2004.
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