EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Cassius Winston had six points and four assists to give him the Big Ten record for career assists as No. 15 Michigan State beat Wisconsin 67-55 Friday night.
The Spartans (14-4, 6-1 Big Ten) stayed in sole possession of first place in the Big Ten and bounced back from a 71-42 loss at Purdue.
The Badgers (11-7, 4-3) trailed the entire game, but went on a 13-0 run with Nate Reuvers scoring 11 points to cut their deficit to six points early in the second half.
Cassius Winston is Michigan State's all-time assist leader — and the Big Ten’s all-time assist leader.— Brad Galli (@BradGalli) January 18, 2020
He passed Mateen Cleaves, who watched the game in person. pic.twitter.com/1nAnaPmPSL
Michigan State pulled away with balanced scoring and stingy defense, building a 63-39 lead.
Shortly thereafter, Winston threw an alley-oop lob to Xavier Tillman, giving him four assists in the game and 817 in his career. Former Spartan Mateen Cleaves, who attended the game, ended his national championship-winning career with 816 assists in 2000.
Mateen Cleaves celebrated Cassius Winston passing his Michigan State and Big Ten assists record.— Brad Galli (@BradGalli) January 18, 2020
"Congratulations," Cleaves told him. "Let's make it a special year." pic.twitter.com/4mM4oDLXhF
Tillman had 15 points and nine rebounds, Gabe Brown and Aaron Henry scored 13 points apiece and reserve Rocket Watts added 11 points.
Reuvers scored 19 points on 7-of-15 shooting and Kobe King had 10 points for the Badgers.
Wisconsin: The Badgers shot poorly early and didn't recover, making just 36% of their shots.
Michigan State: Winston can get back to playing naturally after looking like he was forcing passes to get Cleaves' record out of the way.
Wisconsin: Hosts Nebraska on Tuesday night.
Michigan State: Plays at Indiana on Thursday night.