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No. 8 Michigan State bests Wisconsin in Big Ten semis

Mar 11, 2012 - 12:11 AM Indianapolis, IN (Sports Network) - Draymond Green scored 14 points and grabbed 16 rebounds, and No. 8 Michigan State bested No. 14 Wisconsin, 65-62, in the Big Ten Tournament semifinals on Saturday.

Keith Appling netted 13 points and Austin Thornton had 12 on 4-of-4 three- point shooting for the top-seeded Spartans (26-7), who advanced to the Big Ten championship game for the first time since 2000.

"I thought we played very, very well. We rebounded the ball pretty well, at least one guy did," said Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo. "We shot the ball extremely well. When you can shoot 50 percent against Wisconsin, that says a lot."

The Spartans will play third-seeded and No. 7 Ohio State in Sunday's title game.

Jordan Taylor led all scorers with 19 points and Ryan Evans had 18 for the Badgers (24-9), who shot just 34.7 percent (17-of-49) from the field.

"They're good defensive team. They do that to a lot of teams," said Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan. "But we didn't do a very good job moving without the ball and some other things."

Wisconsin scored the game's first nine points and led by as many as 11 in the first half, but a 13-0 run gave Michigan State its first lead of the game.

After a pair of free-throws by Evans tied it at 22 apiece, the Spartans scored 13 of the half's final 16 points to take a 10 point edge into intermission.

They went up by 19 early in the second stanza. Jordan, Evans and Rob Wilson immediately responded with a 13-0 outburst, however, to cut the Badgers' deficit to 46-40.

The game of runs continued with a 9-0 rally from MSU. This time Wisconsin had no answer, as the Spartans led by double-digits thereafter.

Game Notes

Michigan State shot 50 percent (21-of-42) from the field and made 6-of-9 three-point attempts...Both teams committed 12 turnovers...Appling and Green had five assists apiece...MSU swept the season series against Wisconsin. The Spartans won 69-55 on Feb. 16 and took a 63-60 decision on Jan. 3 in overtime.