The stakes were high Thursday night at the Breslin Center with Wisconsin riding a 7-game winning streak, which included a 77-76 victory over Michigan State back on Jan. 17. While the Spartans were coming off a rather impressive 88-69 win over Indiana on Sunday and had won 5 of their last 6 games.
Michigan State would seize an early 12-3 lead and never looked back as the Spartans exacted revenge on the Badgers with a dominating 69-57 win.
Senior guard Denzel Valentine recorded a double-double with 24 points and 10 assists, while his sidekick senior guard Bryn Forbes shot 50 percent from the field and scored 17 points. Junior guard Eron Harris also pitched in 10 points for MSU.
The Spartans suffocated Wisconsin defensively and made the Badgers work for every shot. Although, freshman forward Ethan Happ led Wisconsin with 18 points. While junior guard Bronson Koenig contributed with 12 points. The biggest stat of the night came from Badgers leading scorer junior forward Nigel Hayes who shot an atrocious 1 for 13 and only scored 5 points in the loss.
With the win, No. 8 Michigan State(22-5, 9-5 Big Ten) has now won 6 of their past 7 games and now sits in a tie for 3rd place in the Big Ten with four games to go in the regular season. Meanwhile tonight’s loss for Wisconsin(16-10, 8-5 Big Ten) may prove costly to their NCAA Tournament hopes.
The Spartans head to Columbus next Tuesday to face Ohio State(17-10, 9-5) in the first of two games against the Buckeyes over the next couple of weeks. The match up will be televised on ESPN with the tip-off at 9 p.m.