MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Frank Kaminsky scored 31 points in his final home game, sophomore Nigel Hayes added 14 and No. 5 Wisconsin clinched at least a share of the Big Ten regular-season title with a 68-61 victory Sunday over Michigan State.
Kaminsky celebrated Senior Day with a dominating performance, going 11 of 17 from the field for the Badgers (26-3, 14-2).
The Spartans (19-10, 10-6) trailed by 22 points before rallying in the second half. Bryn Forbes’ open 3 from the corner got them within 64-53 with about 2:30 left.
But Michigan State had no answer for Kaminsky.
He banked a short jumper off the glass for a 13-point lead with 1:52 left before blocking a shot on the other end to whip the crowd into a frenzy.
Forbes finished with 21 points.
Wisconsin’s frontcourt had another strong performance.
One more win gives the Badgers the outright Big Ten title.
The 7-foot Kaminsky led the way. The big man with the ball-handling skills of a guard deftly sidestepped opponents in the lane to get to the hoop and added three 3-pointers.
“Frank the Tank!” yelled the student section after Kaminsky’s big second-half plays.
Eager to finish out the season at home on a high note, the Badgers didn’t let up in the second half after leading by 11 at halftime.
Junior forward Sam Dekker added eight points, including two early baskets after halftime that helped the Badgers build their second-half cushion.
Brandon Dawson opened the second half by missing badly on a short jumper in the lane. On the other end, Kaminsky threw a high entry pass to Dekker, who found an open path for a layup after two Michigan State defenders overplayed the ball.
After another wasted possession for Michigan State, Kaminsky threw a touch pass from the 3-point line to Hayes on the wing. Hayes waited for Dekker to cut across the edge of the paint for quick layup and 15-point lead with about 18:30 left.
Michigan State lost its second straight to fall into a fourth-place tie with Iowa.