Spartans Win Overtime Thriller

As stated in our preview, Michigan State and Wisconsin know how to battle each other to the finish. Tuesday was no different as both teams traded punches with the Spartans finding enough firepower to push the game into overtime before earning the victory.

Michigan State entered Tuesday's game against Big Ten rival Wisconsin hearing the whispers about how good they really are. The Badgers, who always play the Spartans tough, looked to ready to knock the Spartans down another notch and prove what many were saying about the team many had penciled in to win a Big Ten title.

Down nine points, the Spartans found the spark many felt has been missing and shutdown the Badgers to tie the game and force it into overtime. The teams play was not lost on its head coach.

"We talk about having a character check," Coach Tom Izzo said. "I've never seen a bunch of guys get knocked down more times than we got knocked down, and in every huddle, they still thought they could win."

One reason the Spartans came out on top was the play of Draymond Green. The junior forward from Saginaw, scored a career-high 26 points and got the Spartans started on the right foot in overtime by scoring the first eight points.

Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan was impressed with Green's play.

"He can shoot it from the outside a lot better now. If you can go inside, outside, and your tough covering the glass, that means you are going to get some pretty good numbers. Hitting those threes, those nine points from him behind the line, those are huge for Michigan State. I think everybody in the room would agree to that."

However, Tom Izzo knows his team still has work ahead of them if they want to have a successful season.

"Wisconsin, they played their tail off. They beat us in every way they could beat us – early with those pick-and-pops we worked so hard to defend them and to be honest with you, we did a very poor job defending them in the first five minutes."

Behind Green was Kalin Lucas who poured in 17 points and handed out six assists. The Spartans had no other player score in double digits while five other Spartans found their way on the scorecard. The Spartans out rebounded the Badgers by nine boards and was even with the Badgers with eleven turnovers.

Wisconsin was paced by Jordan Taylor with 21 points and Keaton Nankivil with 17 points.

The Spartans return to the court on Saturday in the Breslin Center against an annoying Northwestern team that pushed them to the brink before pulling out a 65-62.

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