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La Crosse’s Davis busts out of slump, drops 25 in leading No. 14 Badgers over 17th-ranked MSU

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Wisconsin's Johnny Davis, left, shoots against Michigan State's Max Christie (5) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022, in East Lansing, Mich. (AP Photo/Al Goldis)

La Crosse native Johnny Davis bounced back in a huge way, leading the 14th-ranked University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team to a 70-62 win over No. 17 Michigan State.

Davis came into the matchup shooting 34.6% over his past five games. Tuesday, he missed three times, in scoring 25 points.

The sophomore was 8-for-11 from the field, 2 of 4 from deep and 7-for-8 from the free-throw line. He added six rebounds, three assists, two steals and just one turnover in 34 minutes.

Davis leads the nation in points against ranked teams this season, at 25.3 a game — minimum three games, though Davis has played six, where the Badgers are 3-3. In games against unranked teams, Davis is averaging 18.5 points.

The Spartans (17-6, 8-4) came into the game 9-1 at home. They also beat Wisconsin at the Kohl Center two weeks ago 86-74. Davis had 25 in that one, as well, but shot 8-for-20 from the field.

Davis was coming off his worst game of the season Saturday, when he shot 2-for-13 and scored four points. He hadn’t scored less than 13 in any other game this season. The 6-foot-5 guard is now averaging 20.8 points a game.

Wisconsin (19-4, 10-3) led 29-23 at halftime and is now 16-0 when its ahead at the break.

The Badgers overcame 14-for-22 shooting from the line and were somehow better from deep, despite going 6 of 18. Michigan State shot 3-for-14 from beyond the arc.

The Badgers pull into a three-way tie for the Big Ten Conference lead with No. 3 Purdue (21-3, 10-3) and 13th-ranked Illinois (17-6, 10-3). There is, however, plenty of season left. Wisconsin has six games left on its schedule, but only Purdue is ranked at this point.

Next up for the Badgers, a home matchup at 1 p.m. Saturday with Rutgers (13-9, 7-5).

Wisconsin’s Johnny Davis, right, is fouled by Michigan State’s Max Christie during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022, in East Lansing, Mich. Wisconsin won 70-62. (AP Photo/Al Goldis)

Host of WIZM's La Crosse Talk PM | University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point graduate | Hometown: Greenville, Wis | Avid noonball basketball player and sand volleyballer in La Crosse

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