Three Observations from Wisconsin's Loss at No. 15 Michigan State
After Friday night, Wisconsin still has not won in East Lansing since 2004. The Badgers allowed four Spartans to score in double figures, and along with some chilly shooting from three-point range, fell in a 67-55 loss to No. 15 Michigan State on Friday night.
AllBadgers.com breaks down three observations from the road contest inside the Breslin Center.
Wisconsin Cannot Contain Michigan State
In the first half alone, UW made just 29 percent of its attempts (nine of 31) -- draining one of nine from three-point range. On the flip side, Michigan State thrived in knocking down 14 of 26 opportunities (53.8%) and nearly having three players hit double figures in scoring on way to a 15-point lead at intermission.
That being said, Wisconsin (11-7 overall, 4-3 Big Ten) actually brought the game to within a two-possession contest early in the second half when Nate Reuvers connected on his third three-pointer of the half. That completed a 13-0 run to close the gap to within 39-33 at the 15:41 mark.
Then Michigan State proceeded to rain down a barrage of baskets and played stout defense on way to a 16-4 run in a 4:12 span -- as part of a greater 24-6 spree in 7:03 -- to reassert control over the game.
Credit to UW to finish the game scoring the final 13 points after Michigan State pushed the advantage to 67-42 with 5:46 to play. However Greg Gard's team ran into a team looking to bounce back in significant fashion from a near 30-point loss to Purdue on Sunday.
Overall, Michigan State (14-4, 6-1) shot 46.6% from the field, 37.5% from three-point range. Wisconsin finished hitting just 21 of 59 field goal opportunities (35.6%), a chilly four of 19 (21.1%) from deep.
Supporting Cast Contributes in Huge Fashion for Sparty
Star point guard Cassius Winston finished with only six points, five rebounds and four assists on way to becoming the Big Ten's all-time leader in the latter category. Junior forward Xavier Tillman reeled in a team-high 15 points and nine boards for Tom Izzo's squad. However, other Spartans stepped up to hurt Wisconsin on Friday night.
Sophomore forwards Aaron Henry and Gabe Brown contributed 13 points each on a combined 10-of-15 shooting. The latter connected on all five of his attempts, including two from deep. Henry also grabbed five rebounds, while Brown helped out with four of his own.
Catching fire in the second half, Rocket Watts scored all 11 of his points in the final 20 minutes, draining three of five shots from three-point range.
Nate Reuvers Surges in Second Half
Reuvers scored a game-high 19 points on 7-of-15 shooting with a team-high seven rebounds, and he was the only Badger to shoot well from beyond the arc. He hit three of six in that department, while the rest of the team combined to make just one in 13 tries.
In the second half alone, he tallied 14 points, including the team's first eight of that period. All three of his treys came in the first 4:19.
At times, Reuvers and Micah Potter found time on the floor together in more extensive time. The latter played 20 minutes off the bench, scoring four points and hauling in five rebounds. However, the Ohio State transfer made just two of seven field goal opportunities and committed three turnovers in the loss.