Spartans Fall To No. 3 Badgers, 70-57

By  | 

CHICAGO (AP) -Alando Tucker, held to three free throws in the opening half, made four 3-pointers in the second half Friday night and No. 3 Wisconsin beat Michigan State 70-57 in the Big Ten tournament quarterfinals.

Tucker, the league's player of the year, finished with 21 points - his 39th straight game in double figures - and the Badgers (28-4) advanced to a semifinal Saturday against Indiana or Illinois.

Wisconsin had a 15-point halftime lead before Michigan State rallied to within five in the second half. But the Spartans could get no closer as Tucker twice responded with 3-pointers.

Michigan State leading scorer Drew Neitzel, averaging 18 points, was scoreless in the first half and ended with 10 points on 3-for-13 shooting.

The Spartans (22-11), who played one of the league's toughest in-conference schedules, will learn Sunday whether they have earned a 10th straight trip to the NCAA tournament.

State scored the first seven points of the second half as part of an 11-2 run in which the Badgers were held without a basket for almost 7 minutes.

Tucker, who shot only 5-for-14, ended the drought with his first basket of the game, a 3-pointer with 12:48 to go. The Spartans' Raymar Morgan hit a jumper and then Marquise Gray made a steal, drove the length of the floor and dunked, cutting the Badgers' lead to 45-38.

During a timeout, the Badgers bench was assessed a technical foul and Neitzel hit two free throws for his first points of the game, and Wisconsin's lead was down to five.

Tucker and Neitzel exchanged 3-pointers -Neitzel's first basket of the game after missing his first seven shots. After an offensive foul on the Spartans, Tucker hit another 3 to give the Badgers some breathing room. The 6-foot-6 senior delivered again from beyond the arc as the shot clock was going off, putting the Badgers back up by 12 with about 5 minutes to play.

Goran Suton led Michigan State with 14 points and Morgan, who fouled out with about 6 minutes to play, added 11.

Kammron Taylor scored 11 for the Badgers.

Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station. powered by Disqus