Nolan Bianchi with three quick takeaways from Michigan State's 67-55 victory over Wisconsin in the Big Ten tournament semifinal Saturday in Chicago.
Michigan State jumped out to an 18-4 lead over Wisconsin just 6:00 into the game behind four 3-pointers, including two from Kenny Goins. The Spartans finished the first half 7-for-12 from beyond the arc, while Wisconsin made just 2 of 10 — and missed its first seven 3-point shots.
Cold streak central
The Spartans had their fair share of inefficient play in Saturday's game. But despite stretches where Ethan Happ and the Badgers were able to get points inside, it was Wisconsin that was done in by a handful of cold streaks, notably a 7:10 scoreless run in the second half. Wisconsin was also a horrendous 2-for-19 from beyond the arc.
Senior Michigan State guard Cassius Winston was suffering from an injured toe in Saturday's game, and perhaps it would, to some degree, be a good thing for Michigan State to have Sunday off. But the injured Spartan was also the most crucial in making sure that Michigan State would be making a trip to the Big Ten final. He assisted on Goins' and McQuaid's 3-point shots to open the game, and nailed a long jumper of his own to give the Spartans an 8-point lead early on. He finished with 21 points and six assists in 28 minutes.
Nolan Bianchi is a freelance writer.