Badgers Edge Spartans

Even with Gary Harris going 3-20 from the field and without Keith Appling and Branden Dawson due to injuries, it took a clutch pull-up jumper from Wisconsin’s Traevon Jackson with two seconds left for the Badgers to down the Spartans, 60-58.

Michigan State played poorly on the offensive end in the first half, but their stout defense forced eight turnovers in the first half and kept MSU in the game.

Wisconsin used their size and athleticism in the post to run their offense. Freshman Nigel Hayes posted up Kenny Kaminski whenever possible and led the Badgers with 14 points.

The Badgers led by as much as 10 in the second half, but Michigan State went on a 9-3 run in the final minute to pull even at 58-58 with eight seconds to play. An Adreian Payne three-pointer from the top of the key capped the run.

Wisconsin called a timeout after the Payne three then inbounded the ball to Jackson who ran down the court and hit a pull-up jumper on the wing to put the Badgers up by two with two seconds to play. Travis Trice’s half court prayer as time expired bounced off the front of the rim to seal Wisconsin’s victory.

Payne did all he could to make up for Harris’ poor shooting performance. He scored 24 points on 9-16 shooting while grabbing four rebounds.

Harris missed all seven attempts from three-point range.

Michigan State returns to the Breslin Center on Thursday to take on the Northwestern Wildcats. Tip is scheduled for 7 p.m. EST.

Michael Higer is a multimedia journalist for Impact Sports.

Photo: David Defever/Impact Sports