The Badgers continue to protect their home court as they improve their record to 33-1 at home in the Big Ten under head coach Bo Ryan. Wisconsin is now 2-0 in the Big Ten after beating Iowa at home in their Big Ten opener.
Michigan State for the second game in a row looked very lethargic on the offensive end of the court. The Badgers held the Spartans' two leading scorers, Maurice Ager (11 points) and Paul Davis (2 points, 9 rebounds), to a combined 13 points.
Following the game coach Izzo told the media, "No team is going to do well when two of their three best players don't play well at all. Ours have really struggled in the first two games."
In the opening minutes of the first half it looked as if the Spartans were ready to get back on track after only scoring 50 points against the Illini. Michigan State jumped out to an early 8-0 lead. Unfortunately that was the only bright spot of the game for the Spartans, after that it went downhill and it was all Wisconsin for the remainder of the contest.
The second half began with a 13-2 run by the Badgers which gave them a 21-point lead and they never looked back after that.
The Badgers were led by the man behind the mask, Alando Tucker and shooting guard Kammron Taylor. Taylor tied a career high with 27 points and was an impressive 11-of-17 from the field. Tucker chipped in 17 points and had 6 rebounds.
Taylor said, "My teammates were doing a good job of finding me when I was open and I was just knocking down shots."
Shannon Brown continues to carry the struggling Spartans, Brown had a career high 31 points. Brown was only 3-of-9 from the three-point line, but he got a lot of points at the free-throw line by shooting a near perfect 10-of-11 from the strike.
Michigan State also relied on point guard Drew Neitzel for an offensive threat. Neitzel hit four three-pointers and ended the game with 14 points. It wasn't the perimeter that was the problem for the Spartan offense it was their presence in the paint.
Davis was held to just two points, his worst offensive performance of the year. Michigan State is also desperately waiting for somebody to step up at power forward. Marquise Gray and Goran Suton continue to struggle to give the Spartans a consistent presence on both the offensive and defensive end of the court. Coach Izzo will need to see an improvement out of their position in order for Michigan State to become a real threat in the Big Ten.
It doesn't get any easier for the Spartans looking down the road they have two tough games ahead of them. On Wednesday the Indiana Hoosiers come to East Lansing and next weekend Michigan State will head to Columbus to take on Ohio State.
The Big Ten is looking like it could be a very tight conference with a lot of upsets after the first week of conference play. The important key to success for the Spartans will be protecting their home court advantage. They will get their first shot against the Hoosiers at the Breslin Center which now becomes a huge game for Michigan State if they still intend on winning the Big Ten.
Izzo also intimated that the attitude and energy of the team hasn't been up to par in the last two games.
"Seniors have to bring energy, and they have to bring leadership…..it's been null and void the last two games," said Izzo.