Winston outduels Happ in Michigan State win
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Cassius Winston scored 23 points to help No. 11 Michigan State beat 20th-ranked Wisconsin 67-59 on Tuesday night.
In doing so, the Michigan State (20-5, 11-3 Big Ten) star outdueled Wisconsin’s Ethan Happ, who scored 20 points and grabbed 12 rebounds.
At times, the game seemed like a contest between the two heavyweights as Winston seemed to answer every Happ hook shot with a floater or 3-pointer.
But Wisconsin (17-7, 9-4) staggered at home, going more than five minutes without a point as the Spartans put the game away.
The game was still in doubt with 32 seconds to go before Kenny Goins hit a 3-pointer to give the Spartans a 62-56 lead. Wisconsin was then forced to foul, and Brad Davison finally broke the Badgers’ scoreless streak making a 3-pointer with 10 seconds left.
Goins and Nick Ward each added 12 points for the Spartans, while Wisconsin’s Nate Reuvers was the only other player in double figures for scoring at 11.
As dominant as Happ was at times, he also accounted for six of the Badgers’ 10 turnovers. He also missed all six free throw attempts he took, including two with the Badgers down 59-56 and 1:28 left.
Still, his 20 points put him at 2,000 for his career as he became the fourth player in the Big Ten to ever hit that mark and grab 1,000 rebounds. Happ, who now has 1,138 rebounds for his career, is also the first conference player to accomplish that in more than 35 years.
Michigan State: The Spartans, who had lost three in a row to start February, have now won back-to-back games.
Wisconsin: The Badgers, who had their six-game winning streak snapped on Saturday by Michigan, missed out on a chance to keep pace with the conference leaders.
Michigan State: Hosts Ohio State on Sunday.
Wisconsin: Hosts Illinois on Monday.