EAST LANSING, Mich. – Keith Appling scored 14 of his 19 points in the second half to help No. 10 Michigan State pull away to beat No. 22 Wisconsin, 58-43, on Thursday night and stay in the Big Ten race.
The Spartans (23-7 overall, 12-5) moved into a three-way tie for second with Michigan and Ohio State. The trio trails conference-leading Indiana with one game left in the regular season.
The Hoosiers can claim the Big Ten title outright with a win Sunday in Ann Arbor against the Wolverines. If they lose, Michigan would earn a piece of the title and give Michigan State and the Buckeyes a shot to pull into a four-way tie. The Spartans close the regular season Sunday at home against Northwestern after Ohio State hosts Illinois.
The Badgers (20-10, 11-6) fell to fifth place with the decisive road loss after Purdue handed them their most lopsided setback at home in more than seven years.
Michigan State broke open a close slugfest with a 16-0 run early in the second half, taking a 21-point lead on Appling’s three-point play.
Colorado 76, No. 19 Oregon 53: At Boulder, Colo., Xavier Johnson had a career-high 22 points to help Colorado (20-9, 10-7) beat Oregon (23-7, 12-5), completing a season sweep and thwarting the Ducks’ bid to gain a share of the Pac-12 Conference title.
The Buffaloes played without the nation’s leading rebounder, Andre Roberson, who sat out with a viral illness. Gone with the athletic junior forward were 11.5 rebounds and 10.8 points a game.
Drake 81, Bradley 66: At St. Louis, Chris Hines scored 16 points, and Drake (15-16) defeated Bradley (16-16) in the opener of the Missouri Valley Conference tournament.
The ninth-seeded Bulldogs earned a quarterfinal game against regular-season champion Creighton today.
Missouri St. 61, S. Illinois 53: At St. Louis, Marcus Marshall scored 18 points and Anthony Downing had 16 as Missouri State defeated Southern Illinois in the opening round of the Missouri Valley Conference tournament.
The seventh-seeded Bears (11-21) will face No. 2 seed Wichita State today.
Desmar Jackson and Anthony Beane Jr. scored 12 points apiece for 10th-seeded Southern Illinois (14-17). The Salukis had won six of their last eight games.