The No. 4 Michigan State Spartans headed into Madison on Sunday to face the Wisconsin Badgers, hoping to quickly forget about that ugly home loss on Thursday at the hands on the Iowa Hawkeyes.
In what was a tightly-contested game for all 40 minutes, the Badgers were able to hand MSU their second loss this week, thanks to a go-ahead bucket with 10 seconds left to win 77-76.
The Spartans (16-3, 3-3 Big Ten) announced prior to the game that they would be without sophomore point guard Lourawls Nairn Jr. as he lets his nagging plantar fasciitis heal up, forcing head coach Tom Izzo to re-shuffle his starting lineup again. Senior Denzel Valentine led MSU with 23 points and also grabbed seven rebounds. Fellow senior Matt Costello posted his fourth double-double of the season with 18 points and 13 rebounds.
Junior transfer Eron Harris scored 14 of his own, 12 in the first half and senior Bryn Forbes scored 12 points off the bench.
The Badgers (10-9, 2-4 Big Ten) were able to force 28 personal fouls against the Spartans and went to the charity stripe an incredible 36 times in the game, converting on 29 of those attempts. MSU had no answer for juniors Bronson Koenig and Nigel Hayes as the two combined for 52 of the team’s 77 points.
Redshirt freshman Ethan Happ had 14 of his own, including the game-winning basket late in the game.
The Spartans will have to regroup as they head back to East Lansing for a pair of home games next week. First up is the Nebraska Cornhuskers on Wednesday, January 20th at 6:30 PM on BTN.