It's mid-February, just about the time Tom Izzo coached teams start ot make their run. The Michigan State Spartans came into the Value City Center looking to hand the Ohio State Buckeyes their second straight loss. For 35 minutes, Michigan State gave the Buckeyes all they could handle, and then some. In the end, the Buckeyes did to Michigan State what they couldn't do to Wisconsin this weekend - finish.
William Buford scored 23 points on a night when Jared Sullinger wasn't his usual self to lead the Buckeyes to a 71-61 victory in a game that was much closer than the final score would indicate. Sullinger scored 11 points and had just 2 rebounds in his quietest game this season, but a balanced Buckeyes attack led by Buford, 12 points from David Lighty, 12 points from Jon Diebler and 7 points from Aaron Craft was enough to push the Buckeyes over the top.
Michigan State shot over 60% from the field in the 1st Hafl yet still trailed Ohio State 35-34. What Michigan State did do is show the lack of depth the Buckeyes possess - something that could cause Ohio State trouble come tournament time. Michigan State played 10 different players while Ohio State barely went 7-deep.
Kalin Lucas led the Spartans with 14 points while Draymond Green scored 10 points. In a back and forth game, Michigan State led 44-42 with 15 minutes to go in the game, but Ohio State used a 10-2 run to take a 52-46 lead. Michigan State closed to within 53-51 inside of 10 minutes, but Ohio State went on another 8-2 run to essentially put the game away.