Michigan St. rips Wisconsin to take share of Big Ten lead

EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Michigan State had its way with

Wisconsin in a way the Spartans hadn't since beating the Badgers

for the first of four times during their 2000 national championship


Draymond Green had 20 points and 10 rebounds, Keith Appling

scored 20 points and Michigan State (No. 8 ESPN/USA Today, No. 7 AP) beat Wisconsin (No. 17 ESPN/USA Today, No. 15 AP)

69-55 on Thursday night to move back into a first-place tie with

No. 6 Ohio State.

This was its sixth win over a ranked team this season, most in

Division I.

The Spartans' margin of victory was their largest in the series

since Feb. 12, 2000, when it won the first of two regular-season

matchups and went on to defeat the Badgers in the Big Ten

tournament and Final Four.

"That win says a lot," Green said. "Wisconsin's not an easy

team to play.

"It's not the most talented team Bo Ryan has had, but it's

still a very good one."

The Spartans (21-5, 10-3 Big Ten) have won four straight -- the

longest active streak in the conference -- and six of their last

seven games.

Michigan State shots 52.2 percent against a team that hadn't

allowed an opponent to make half its shots once this season and was

giving up a nation-low 50.3 points a game. And, it held Wisconsin

to 34 percent shooting.

The Badgers (19-7, 8-5) had won seven of their last eight,

including their previous four road games, after opening the Big Ten

season with three straight losses.

Appling's three-point play with 5:24 left in the first half

capped a 14-0 run that gave Michigan State a 22-12 lead.

"That run hurt us," Ryan said. "They got a couple baskets in

transition -- guys thought they were back but weren't -- we gave up

turnovers and long rebounds.

"That's not a position we normally put ourselves in."

The Spartans led 31-19 at halftime and built a 53-33 lead midway

through the second half.

Ryan said he told Izzo after the game that his team is playing

pretty well.

"He's done a great job with this team," Ryan said. "It's the


Wisconsin's Jordan Taylor missed 10 of his 13 shots and was held

to 13 points.

Michigan State, which snapped the Buckeyes' 39-game home winning

streak Saturday night, improved to 16-0 at the Breslin Center.

The home of the Spartans was so loud late in the first half that

official Mike Sanzere told ranting Ryan that he couldn't hear him.

"The crowd was awesome," Izzo said. "I told our players at

halftime, 'You're bringing this crowd back like old times.'

"It was a total MSU team effort. The crowd, the players and my

staff did a phenomenal job of coming up with some things to

somewhat contain Taylor."

Taylor, who averaged 29 points in his previous two games against

Michigan State, got his first field goal with 5 seconds left in the

first half after missing his first six shots.

"Jordan Taylor is a great player," said Appling, who was

assigned to defend the senior guard. "After the first Wisconsin

game, I went back into the laboratory and studied him. I learned a

lot about his game."

Ryan was often livid in the first half, screaming about calls

that were made or that he thought were missed, but was much more

subdued on the sideline after halftime as the Badgers headed toward

a familiar fate on the road against a highly ranked team in the Big


Wisconsin has lost 40 straight games as visitors in the

conference against top-10 teams since winning at No. 4 Ohio State

on Nov. 26, 1980, according to STATS, LLC.

Ryan Evans scored 17 points for the Badgers and Jared Berggren

had 10.

Berggren spilled blood -- literally -- in the traditionally

physical matchup and went to the bench to have his cut covered by

several bandages. The game was later stopped briefly to clean up

the court.

Michigan State's bruising center, Derrick Nix, had 12 points and

a three-point play that pushed the lead to 20 points with 9:46 left

in the game.

The Badgers pulled within nine points with 3:16 left, but the

rout was restored and Tom Izzo put his seldom-used reserves in the

game during the final minute.

Ryan, though, wanted to have one last word with his team and

called a timeout with 21.4 seconds left down by 14 points.

"Sometimes delivering the message later in the locker room

isn't the same," Ryan explained.

Before tipoff, Izzo came out of his locker room and had a

nervous grimace just before stepping on the court.

Michigan State boosted Izzo's confidence by scoring the first

six points, but his nerves were validated when Wisconsin led 12-8

midway through the first half.

That's when the game was stopped to get Berggren's blood off the

court and when the Green-led Spartans took control.

Green made two free throws, a go-ahead fastbreak layup and a

3-pointer in a 2-plus minute stretch that proved to be pivotal for

the Big Ten's hottest team.

Izzo, however, knows he can't relish the run because his team

just played its first of five games in 13-day span and next one is

Sunday at Purdue.

"There are a lot of concerns," he said. "We've got four more

quick turnarounds."