The Wisconsin Badgers beat a ranked opponent for the first time under interim head coach Greg Gard, pulling out a 77-76 win over the fourth-ranked Michigan State Spartans at the Kohl Center on Sunday.
Junior guard Bronson Koenig hit a three-pointer with 26.8 seconds left, then after Wisconsin forced a turnover with a full-court press, Koenig hit Ethan Happ in the lane and Happ scored on a reverse layup.
The Badgers (10-9, 2-4 Big Ten) not only snapped their three-game losing streak, but they beat the Spartans (16-3, 3-3) for the 11th time in the last 13 games at the Kohl Center.
It also gives the young Badgers a big shot of confidence after suffering their four Big Ten losses by just 15 points this season.
Koenig hit 4 of 8 three-pointers and led all scorers with 27 points. Nigel Hayes added 25 points and seven rebounds, while Happ had 14 points and eight boards.
Denzel Valentine, who missed a last second potential game winning three, finished 4 for 8 from distance and had 23 points. Matt Costello turned in a solid performance as well with 18 points and 13 rebounds.
The Badgers dominated at the free throw line, hitting 29 of 36 (70.7%), while the Spartans got just 16 chances and made 12.
The Badgers hit the road this Thursday for a Big Ten matchup at Penn State.