MADISON, Wis. – Malik Hall scored 14 points and No. 14 Michigan State beat No. 8 Wisconsin 86-74 on Friday night to snap the Badgers’ seven-game winning streak.
Max Christie, Tyson Walker and A.J. Hoggard scored 12 points apiece for the Spartans (15-3, 6-1 Big Ten), who shot 53% (29 of 55) from the field.
Michigan State moved into first place in the conference, ahead of Wisconsin (15-3, 6-2) and Illinois.
Johnny Davis scored 25 points and Brad Davison added 22 for Wisconsin, which struggled to score in the first half, fell behind by double digits and couldn’t catch up.
The Badgers were without Tyler Wahl, who averaged 15.3 points over the previous seven games, because of a right ankle injury. Ben Carlson started in Wahl’s place and finished with six points in 23 minutes.
The Spartans led 42-26 at halftime after holding the Badgers to 9-for-32 shooting. Wisconsin exceeded its lowest-scoring half of the season by just three points.
Davison scored 10 consecutive second-half points, including a 3-pointer with 14:04 to go that trimmed Michigan State’s lead to 52-41, but the Spartans had an answer almost every time.
Steven Crowl scored five points during a 7-0 run to pull to the Badgers within six points at 58-52 with 10:03 left in the game. But Wisconsin didn’t get any closer.
The Spartans shot 6-for-12 from 3-point range, including two 3s each from Christie and Akins.
Michigan State out-rebounded Wisconsin 39-20, led by Joey Hauser’s 11 boards.
Michigan State: The Spartans’ bench players were a nice complement to the team’s starters, with Hall, Hoggard and Jaden Akins (10 points) all scoring in double figures. Michigan State’s reserves finished with 43 points.
Wisconsin: Coach Greg Gard rotated a handful of players into the lineup to try to compensate for Wahl’s absence, but the Badgers couldn’t sustain a rhythm on offense.
Michigan State: At No. 17 Illinois on Jan. 25.
Wisconsin: At Nebraska on January 25.