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Taylor's late heroics lift Wisconsin past Michigan State

Mar 3, 2007 - 10:24 PM MADISON, Wisconsin (Ticker) -- Kammron Taylor nearly had a Senior Day to forget before coming through to lead Wisconsin to a memorable victory.

Taylor hit a 3-pointer in the closing seconds and fifth-ranked Wisconsin grinded out a 52-50 victory over Michigan State in a Big Ten Conference slugfest.

Taylor was only 2-of-9 from the field and front-rimmed a jumper from the free-throw line with 50 seconds to play with the Badgers (27-4, 13-3 Big Ten) trailing, 50-49.

Wisconsin came up with a stop at the other end and then turned to its pair of seniors when it needed a big basket.

Alando Tucker scored 26 points for the Badgers but instead of getting the ball on Wisconsin's final possession, he set a screen for Taylor at the top of the key. Taylor came free and buried a 3-pointer with 3.9 seconds to play.

"I thought we did a decent job on Tucker. He had 26 but he's a (heck) of a player," Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said. "The killer was the three of course by Taylor and you know we elected to go zone at the end and I still felt that it was a good decision.

"He made a heck of a shot. He hasn't been making many lately but I guess that's the way it's written in Hollywood when you are a senior."

Drew Neitzel got off a long 3-pointer at the buzzer but it was well short.

"Well its kind of the way this rivalry has been. It was a heck of a game I thought, but both teams played awfully hard," Izzo said. "I'm not sure it was the prettiest game but I think you have to give credit to the way both teams played. I'm really proud of the team."

Neitzel scored 22 points and Goran Suton added 16 for Michigan State (21-10, 8-8).

Tucker scored 14 points in the first half to keep the Badgers close. Wisconsin shot 35 percent (8-of-23) in the opening 20 minutes and trailed 26-24.

"He did a lot better things here in this game than obviously he did there (Michigan State)," Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan said. "In the second half he got some better looks, worked harder inside to get the ball more and attacked a little more."

The Badgers ended the season in second place in the Big Ten behind Ohio State and will be the No. 2 seed in next week's conference tournament. Wisconsin finished the season undefeated at home (19-0), setting a school record for most home wins.