EAST LANSING, Mich. – Draymond Green scored a career-high 26 points, and Kalin Lucas made three free throws in the final minute of overtime to lift Michigan State to a much-needed 64-61 victory over No. 20 Wisconsin on Tuesday night.
The Spartans, who have been in a funk for most of the season, scored the final nine points of regulation to tie the game at 53, then outlasted the Badgers (12-4, 2-2 Big Ten) in the extra session. Lucas put Michigan State (11-5, 3-1) up by one with a free throw with 30.2 seconds remaining, and Wisconsin's Jordan Taylor then missed from near the top of the key.
Lucas, who finished with 17 points, added two free throws with 2.2 seconds left, and Taylor missed a desperation shot from midcourt.
Taylor scored 21 points for Wisconsin.
After turning the ball over only 13 times in its first three Big Ten games, Wisconsin gave it away 11 times against the Spartans — including a couple of big mistakes as the Badgers were trying to protect their lead.
Trailing 53-48 with just over a minute remaining, the Spartans came up with a steal near midcourt that led to a breakaway dunk by Keith Appling. Wisconsin lost the ball again on the following inbounds, and Korie Lucious made a 3-pointer to tie it with 47.2 seconds remaining.
The Badgers looked completely out of sorts on their next possession, which ended when Tim Jarmusz shot an air ball from the corner at the end of the shot clock. Lucas had a chance to win it at the other end, but he decided to go up with his right hand, and Keaton Nankivil was able to block his layup from behind.
Green scored Michigan State's first eight points of overtime, including a free throw that put the Spartans ahead 61-60 with 1:16 left. Taylor tied it with a free throw with 59.1 seconds left, but Lucas drew a foul driving along the baseline and put Michigan State ahead to stay.
When the game ended, a few fans began chanting "Just like football!" Michigan State beat Wisconsin in football this season, but the Badgers ended up in the Rose Bowl anyway, much to the Spartans' chagrin.
Michigan State's basketball team was ranked No. 2 in the preseason poll but dropped out of the Top 25 entirely after a loss to Penn State last weekend. This is the first week Michigan State isn't ranked since the final poll of 2006-07.
Wisconsin started well, content to allow Michigan State to settle for outside shots. The Badgers led 19-7 at one point, forcing Spartans coach Tom Izzo to call a timeout with 8:51 left in the first half.
Michigan State fought back to a 23-20 deficit at halftime despite missing all eight of its 3-point attempts. Appling finally made one to start the second half, and Green scored from the perimeter to give the Spartans their first lead at 25-23.
Nankivil finished with 17 points.