Wisconsin junior guard Traevon Jackson hit a mid-range jumper with just over 2 seconds remaining over Michigan State sophomore guard Gary Harris to give the hometown Wisconsin Badgers (19-5, 6-5 Big Ten) a 60-58 victory over the No. 9 Michigan State Spartans (20-4, 9-2).
Immediately following the Jackson shot, MSU junior guard Travis Trice’s desperation heave from half court at the buzzer was just off-iron for the Spartans, who were playing without the services of two key starters on Sunday in both Keith Appling and Branden Dawson.
Also, coupled with the fact that both Appling and Dawson were no-gos , Harris had an absolutely dreadful game shooting the ball for the Spartans. The star shooting guard was off his game Sunday afternoon, finishing the game with just 6 points on 3 for 20 shooting.
Things were played pretty evenly in the first half between the two teams. That is until a Michigan State scoreless streak lasted nearly the final seven minutes of the half, allowing Wisconsin to take an eight point advantage into halftime, 30-22.
Michigan State spent much of the second half clawing their way back into it, closing the lead to a one possession game on several occasions, only to see Wisconsin pull away immediately following these situations.
Eventually Michigan State managed to tie the game in the waning moments of the game, when senior big man Adreian Payne hit a clutch 3-point jumper to knot things up at 58 with just over eight seconds to go. It was a spirited game from Payne, playing in his second game back from a right foot injury which caused him to miss the last seven MSU basketball games. Payne finished with 24 points for the Spartans, but in the end it wasn’t enough, as Jackson hit the shot on the other end for the Badgers to down the Spartans for the first time in five meetings.
Jackson finished with 7 points and 8 assists for the Badgers as freshman forward Nigel Hayes came off the bench and played nicely for Wisconsin, finishing the game with 14 points, one of four Badgers in double-digit scoring.
Trice added 13 points in relief of Appling for the Spartans, but much like his final last second heave at the buzzer, Michigan State came up just short.
Up next for the MSU Basketball team, they’ll move on to play the Northwestern Wildcats (12-12, 5-6 Big Ten). Tip-off at the Breslin Center in East Lansing is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 13 at 7:00 pm ET and will be televised on Big Ten Network.