Game Day Grades: Michigan State

EAST LANSING, Mich. - It was a night to forget for No.15 Wisconsin, who dropped further in the Big Ten standings after struggling with its shooting and transition defense in a 14-point loss to No.7 Michigan State. Badger Nation hands out the grades.

Offense: D

Shooting 18-for-53 (34 percent) from the floor, Wisconsin, or any team for that fact, can't go into East Lansing expecting to win when you shoot the ball that poorly.

Ryan Evans led the way with 17 points on 6-for-14 shooting. The Badgers had two other players in double figures - Jordan Taylor had 13 points and Jared Berggren chipped in with 10 points.

Wisconsin turned the ball over too much tonight against the Spartans. They had a total of 10 turnovers that led to 16 points off turnovers and was partly responsible for the 15-0 edge in fast-break points coming in the first half.

Wisconsin didn't register any points in transition and shot 5-for-24 from 3-point range. The Badgers have now shot under 40 percent 12 times this year and four times in the last five games.

Wisconsin did a good job of getting to the charity stripe and knocking down all 14 of its freebies, but nobody will be talking about that in the morning.

Defense: D-

Wisconsin was terrible in the first half in transition defense and as a result, the Spartans got too many easy baskets. The Badgers were either not paying attention, out of position or to slow to get back. The Spartans shot 24-for-47 (51.1 percent) and were the first team this season to shoot over 50 percent against Wisconsin.

The Spartans had their way on the offensive end - getting to the hoop and getting good shots off of simple screens. Draymond Green and Keith Appling each had 20 points and Derrick Nix had 12 points.

Despite the Spartans shooting the ball well, Wisconsin limited Michigan State to only six offensive rebounds and 13 second-chance points, impressive numbers considering the Spartans led the conference in averaging 13 offensive rebounds per game.

The Badgers gave up way too many ‘and one' plays to the Spartans. The Badgers need to be more disciplined on the defensive side. The Badgers committed 23 team fouls with Mike Bruesewitz fouling out of the game and three other players committing four fouls. Berggren likely would have fouled out of the game but he went to the bench after picking up his fourth foul with 10:38 to go and played just two minutes the rest of the way.

The Badgers did force the Spartans in to nine turnovers - five of which came off of Badger steals. Bruesewitz led the way with three steals, but the performance overall was a forgettable one.

Overall: D

It just wasn't Wisconsin's night. You can't expect to win when you shoot the ball this poorly. I do give credit for Wisconsin battling back and cutting the Spartans lead to single digits when the deficit swelled to 21 points. The Badgers were able to show good mental toughness to fight back and not give up.

What happened to Ben Brust? He has been struggling to find his shot. Tonight he only attempted one shot. In order for the Badgers season to finish strong Brust or one of the members of the bench is going to have to pick it up, as Wisconsin didn't get a field goal from its bench until Rob Wilson hit a 3-pointer with 5:32 remaining.

It was important that Berggren didn't get into foul trouble tonight against the Spartans due to his size and length in the paint. Unfortunately that didn't happen, which made Kaminsky play a lot more then what coach Bo Ryan probably would have liked. Kaminsky played fine but not great.

Wisconsin did outrebound the Spartans though, 33-30, but that's really one of the only positives.

Game MVP: Evans. Evans had the best game overall for the Badgers in scoring a team-high 17 points and seven rebounds in 32 minutes of work. Evans has been playing really good basketball of late. He was able to pick up the scoring due to Taylor not shooting the ball that great. Hopefully Evans can continue his good play through out the rest of the year.

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