MADISON, Wis. — Guard Traevon Jackson saved the day for Wisconsin, sinking a short jumper with 2.1 seconds left, giving the Badgers a 60-58 victory over No. 8 Michigan State on Sunday afternoon at the Kohl Center.
Jackson’s shot prevented another total late-game collapse for the Badgers, who had lost their previous three home games for the first time during head coach Bo Ryan’s tenure in Madison.
Wisconsin (19-5, 6-5 Big Ten) had gone ahead by 10 on a 3-pointer by forward Sam Dekker that made it 43-33 with 13:08 to play before the Spartans came back, using an 11-3 run to get within a bucket with 7:33 left.
Guard Ben Brust had missed his first seven 3-point attempts before finally connecting with 3:18 left, giving the Badgers a 55-48 lead.
But again, the Spartans (20-4, 9-2 Big Ten) fought back and finally tied the game when guard Travis Trice found forward Adreian Payne for a 3-pointer with 8.7 seconds remaining.
Jackson finished with seven points to go along with five rebounds and eight assists.
Forward Nigel Hayes led the Badgers with 14 points on 3 of 5 from the field and is averaging 15.0 points and shooting 74 percent in his last three games. He also went to the free-throw line 12 times, making eight of Wisconsin’s 13 for the game.
Free throws were important to the Badgers as Michigan State went to the line just nine times and made five while shooting 40 percent from the field.
Michigan State guard Gary Harris had an especially rough afternoon. He missed his first 10 shots before finally scoring on a steal and dunk with 17:41 to play and finished with six points on 3-of-20 shooting.
Payne led the Spartans with 24 points and Trice added 13.
With five losses in six games, the Badgers had tumbled from No. 3 to out of the Top 25 but rebounded with a 75-63 victory last week at Illinois.
Michigan State started 18-1 and 7-0 in the Big Ten but has gone 2-3 since, including a non-conference loss to No. 4 Georgetown on Feb. 1.
NOTES: The home team had won 14 of the last 16 games in the series. … Michigan State had won two in a row in Madison by a combined five points. … Wisconsin’s three-game home losing streak was the longest under head coach Bo Ryan. … Badgers F Nigel Hayes began the day averaging 10.1 points and 3.1 rebounds while shooting 58.1 percent per game in Big Ten play. … Michigan State is 10-2 away from the Breslin Center this season and 6-1 in true road games.
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