Out Muscled and Hustled

Allowing 16 offensive rebounds, 32 points in the paint and 11 second-chance points, No.22 Wisconsin simply didn't want it as much as No.10 Michigan State did Thursday night.

EAST LANSING, Mich. - Asked in separate parts of the Breslin Center Thursday night, Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan and senior Jared Berggren both denied No.22 Wisconsin had run out of gas in the final week of the Big Ten season after expending so much energy to stay in the conference race.

After the performances have given the past five days, it was fair to ask the question.

Out hustled, out toughed and out played once again, the Badgers hit a new low, getting cleaned off the glass in an ugly 58-43 defeat to No.10 Michigan State that officially eliminated Wisconsin from Big Ten title contention.

Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan recognized shots were not falling in a rowdy environment, but acknowledged the Badgers made it even harder on itself not limiting the bigger Spartans to one offensive opportunity.

"They were pretty active with their hands," said Ryan. "I thought they were very aggressive with their hands. So if you're not getting a call or two in there and trying to maybe limit some of that, then a team is just going to be aggressive and break with their hands."

Michigan State turned 16 offensive rebounds into 11 second-chance points and scored 32 points in the paint by out muscling Wisconsin's interior players.

It got so one-sided that Michigan State forward Adreian Payne was laying flat on his back during one of their offensive possessions and still manage to grab the offensive rebound over flat-footed Badgers.

The Badgers were out rebounded by only two (42-40), but consider it a misleading number with the amount of production Michigan State generated in the post.

"That was embarrassing, and we can't let that happen again," said freshman Sam Dekker, "Each and every one of us, myself included, we can't let that happened again."

Payne finished with nine points and 11 rebounds (five offensive) and Brandon Dawson finished with six, stats that made Berggren admit that the Spartans were easily the tougher team by allowing Michigan State play to win hustle play after hustle play.

"To rebound as poorly as we did is disappointing," said Berggren. "We were not boxing out. Now, we need to break down the film and try to get back on track."

Unable to match up with Michigan State's team size, length and physicality, Dekker stated that the one obvious problem in the team's execution against the Spartans was it simply got "out worked."

"We're not a team that gets outworked like that," said Dekker. "We take pride in how hard we play. We are embarrassed the way they were getting everything like that. They were scrapping, and we were watching them take it to us."

On its first two game losing streak since mid January and 3-3 in their past six games, Wisconsin will enter the weekend fifth in the conference standings, needing a win at State College and a Michigan loss to avoid playing on the opening day of the Big Ten Tournament for the first time under Ryan.

Although Penn State sits 2-15 n conference, the Nittany Lions have won two of their last three games, including a win at home over then-No.4 Michigan last Wednesday.

"With this team, what they have done, I'm not trading them," said Ryan. "We still got another regular season game."


Badger Nation Top Stories