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It was another game for the Wisconsin men’s basketball team and another down-to-the-wire finish, and for the first time in a long time, UW came out on top of a close one, defeating No. 4 Michigan State 77-76 at the Kohl Center Sunday.Down one with 10 seconds remaining, junior guard Bronson Koenig found Ethan Happ — who finished with 14 points — wide open under the basket. The Spartans (16-3 overall, 3-3 Big Ten) recovered well defensively, but good footwork and a layup from the redshirt freshman put the Badgers (10-9, 2-4) up one, and up for good, as Michigan State forward Denzel Valentine missed a potential game-winning three as time expired. And while Happ was the hero, it was Koenig and Nigel Hayes who carried Wisconsin throughout the night. Koenig had a career-day in the winning effort, scoring a career-high 27 points and hitting big shot after big shot. His biggest shot came with 28 seconds remaining, as with the shot clock winding down, the junior pulled up and dropped a three with Valentine playing perfect defense. It brought the Badgers within one, and left Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo in a state of helplessness. He went as far as to call Koenig a “Spartan killer” after the game.“[Koenig] did the same thing to us in the Big Ten tournament that he did today,” Izzo said. “Made two big threes and I thought Valentine had a pretty good hand up.”Hayes added 25 points of his own and seemed to be in a zone offensively, with his jump shot falling and being able to maintain a level of aggressiveness he’s been rather inconsistent with this season. Hayes and Koenig managed to score 52 of the team’s 77 points Sunday, and given the recent team struggles, put it on themselves, as leaders, to bring the team together and attack this matchup head-on.“We just came together as a unit and told each other that we had to play for one another,” Koenig said. “We knew that if we wanted to win, we had to do it together and I think we did that today.”In the end, despite the heroics from their best players, UW won this game on the free throw line. After not only making their free throws, but also getting to the free throw line in general have been issues the Badgers have faced recently, the team shot 29-of-36 from the charity stripe, while the Spartans managed to shoot just 12-of-16.Hayes, Koenig and Happ combined to shoot 30 of those 36 free throws thanks to their aggressive play. They need to continue to get to the free throw line if they want to turn this season around. “We tried to turn our aggression against them and we shot a hefty amount of free throws,” Hayes said. “If you make more free throws than the other team shoots, you will usually win. And we did that.”For the Spartans, Valentine finished with a team-high 23 points despite not scoring his first basket of the game until there was just over six minutes left in the first half. Center Matt Costello also dominated the paint, finishing with 18 points and 13 rebounds.As a team, Michigan State out-rebounded the Badgers with ease, winning the battle 35-25 and scoring 17 points second-chance points on 15 offensive rebounds. But it wasn’t enough in the end, as Wisconsin found a way to make one more play than their opponent and got the marquee win they’ve been so desperate to have. UW head coach Greg Gard, however, is not looking too far ahead. For him, he still knows he has to manage this team day by day. “I just hope we’re better tomorrow,” he said.