Spartans Over Badgers 74-65

The Spartans beat Wisconsin 74-65 Thursday night with Paul Davis leading the way with 27 points. GSN will have a full story tommorrow.

EAST LANSING, MI — Paul Davis made his presence felt in the paint tonight scoring 27 points and grabbing nine rebounds to lead the Spartans to a 74-65 victory over Wisconsin. #25 Michigan State (20-9, 8-7) earned their twentieth victory of the season that was much needed after dropping four of its' last five games.

After the game Davis said to the media, "You hate saying coach is always right, but there's no question that changes my game and mentality," Davis said. "The biggest thing was to post strong and get to the foul line more often."

Maurice Ager scored 19 and Shannon Brown had 18 points to help Davis and continue a deadly three-man offense. Ager was able to score 19 points despite being in foul trouble for most of the first half.

With a win against Illinois on Saturday the Spartans will be able to lock up a first round bye in the Big Ten Tournament next week. Michigan State is looking to gain some momentum in the next two weeks and head into the NCAA Tournament with a confident winning attitude. Michigan State is now 37-11 in March over the past eight years.

Alando Tucker scored 23 points for Wisconsin (19-9, 9-6), Tucker was the only Badger to reach double digits. Wisconsin has been vulnerable on the road after losing to Northwestern with the Big Ten title on the line. Kammron Taylor had a bad shooting night and only managed to score nine points and was just 4-13 from the field.

Michigan State was trailing 23-13 in the first half but a 7-0 run put them up 35-31 at the intermission. The second half started out with Michigan State extending their lead to eight points leading by a score of 46-38. An alley-oop dunk and a three-pointer by Shannon Brown got the Spartans going out of the break.

Coming down the stretch the Badgers cut the lead to as close as two points before Maurice Ager scored 12 points to put the Spartans back up by double digits. Ager was 7-14 from the field and 2-4 from behind the arc. As a team Michigan State shot over 50 percent from the field and only had 11 turnovers. Wisconsin struggled from long range only hitting 22 percent of their shots from behind the arc.

"I felt like I had to do something like that," Ager said after the game. "I had to take over the game and help Paul out."

Paul Davis had an excellent night shooting; he was 9-12 from the field. The Spartans looked like they were making a conscious effort to get the big man the ball in their half court offense. Davis was 9 out of 10 from the free-throw line; he is averaging just under 90 percent on the season which is remarkable for a center. If the Spartans are to make a run in March they will need to take advantage of Davis down low.

The Spartans are anxiously awaiting the return of Matt Trannon. Trannon dressed in the game against Wisconsin but didn't play. Trannon will wear a protective mask while he plays with a broken jaw. In place of Trannon, Goran Suton got the start for Michigan State tonight. Suton, Marquise Gray and Delco Rowley have all been splitting time at the power forward position.


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