Spartans fend off Wisconsin for road win

DESPITE being on the road in hostile territory, the Michigan State Spartans have held on in crunch time to claim a stirring 69-65 away victory over the Wisconsin Badgers on Wednesday afternoon.

In the Big Ten matchup, the Spartans travelled to Kohl Center in hopes of keeping Wisconsin out of the win column, a goal they were able to achieve in the end as they ran out four-point victors in a stirring result.

The Badgers threw everything they had at the opposition in the final term, looking to come from behind and steal an unlikely victory. However, Michigan State held on down the stretch to fend off a brave Wisconsin comeback performance.

For the Spartans, Joey Hauser led the way offensively with a 20-point performance, shooting 6/8 from the field, 2/3 from behind the arc and 6/6 from free throw territory. The other double-digit scorers for the winners were Tyson Walker (13), Jaden Atkins (12) and A.J. Hoggard (10), with the trio chiming in when the game was on the line.

On the flip side, the Badgers had a number of contributors, despite the loss of leading scorer Tyler Wahl, who was withdrawn from the match due to an ankle injury. Steven Crowl was the main player to stand up in Wahl’s absence, recording a team-high 19 points. He stood up in the second half to record 15 of his 19 points on 7/10 shooting. Chucky Hepburn (14) and Connor Essegian (13) rounded out the double-digit scorers for Wisconsin.

With the result in the balance in the dying stages of the second half, the Spartans made their last eight field goal attempts, while the Badgers went slightly cold from the field in the most important moments of the game.

In the second half, Michigan State was able to get on top aerially, outrebounding the opposition 18-7 in that time, which proved to be another defining factor in determining the result of the match.

One of the biggest reasons the Badgers remained in the contest was their ability to hurt the opposition in transition. Wisconsin certainly made the most of Spartan mistakes, converting Michigan State’s 14 turnovers into 27 points down the other end, but it was not enough in the end.

The Spartans move to 12-4 in their campaign and 4-1 in the Big Ten, and will be taking on the Illinois Fighting Illini, while Wisconsin now holds a record of 11-4 and looks to take on Indiana in the coming days.

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