Michigan State’s AJ Hoggard’s jumper with 43 seconds left was enough as Michigan State rallied from five points down to knock off No. 18 Wisconsin, 69-65.
Hoggard had only 10 points in the game but made two crucial jumpers down the stretch to help give Michigan State the win. Joey Hauser also contributed 20 points on 6-of-8 shooting in the win.
Wisconsin meanwhile, got a big boost from Steven Crowl. Crowl had 19 points on 9-of-17 shooting. He was held to four points in the first half, similar to his performance against Illinois, but put together a better second-half performance to give Wisconsin a chance to win.
Point guard Chucky Hepburn had 14 points but went 4-of-11 from the field, including a desperation three down by two. Hepburn said he wanted a quick shot when he attempted a late three pointer.
“I was just thinking quick shot,” Hepburn said.
Once Hepburn took the late three pointer, head coach Greg Gard admitted that he wanted to call a timeout and set up a possible play with Connor Essegian.
” I was trying to call a timeout when it went in the air,” Gard said.
Speaking of Essegian, he had a big first half, scoring 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting. The second half was a different story for Essegian as he was held to three points being defended by Michigan State’s best defender Tyson Walker.
The other story of the game was three-point shooting. Michigan State shot an efficient 7-of-13 from three, and Wisconsin shot 9-of-23. It’s tough to win games in the Big Ten when you don’t shoot well from beyond the arc.
Wisconsin played its second straight game without star forward Tyler Wahl. Wahl suffered an ankle injury against Minnesota on Jan. 3. Gard said Wahl is progressing but doesn’t have an update on his status for Saturday’s game against Indiana.