There were missed opportunities in the final minute of the game Sunday afternoon. But Ohio State held on to beat No. 22 Michigan State, 69-67.
On senior day for the Buckeyes, senior Aaron Craft was his usual, pesky self, setting the all-time Big Ten record for steals with his first steal of the game on Keith Appling. Craft scored 12 points, had seven assists and four steals.
LaQuinton Ross led OSU with 22 points.
Both teams exchanged baskets in the first five minutes of the first half. Denzel Valentine hit his first three shots from the field in that span for eight points. Valentine had to take a seat shortly after that run due to picking up his second foul. He finished with 11 points and one assist.
Neither team was able to grab a lead larger than five in the first, and MSU lead led 38-36 at halftime. Adreian Payne led Michigan State with 13 points in the half.
The Buckeyes opened the second half on an 8-1 run before Michigan State took off on a 12-0 ru to put the Spartans up seven, with their largest lead of the game.
Down 53-46, Ohio State crawled back in the game relying heavily on transition points that came mostly off of MSU turnovers. Michigan State committed a total of 16 turnovers. They had The Spartans recorded just one steal.
The Spartans struggled mightily to get anything going on the offensive end, shooting just 10-28 in the second half after shooting 14-27 in the first.
Ross hit a jumper with 3:48 left in the game to tie it up at 67-67. Neither team scored again until the 37 second mark when Ohio State’s Amir Williams hit the second of two free throws.
After a missed field goal by MSU and another missed free throw from Craft, Valentine had a bad turnover to force the Spartans to foul again. Sam Thompson missed two free throws to give Michigan State a chance, but Gary Harris missed a fallaway in the final seconds. as Craft celebrated on his final game in Columbus.
As a result, Michigan State ends up as a three No. 3 seed for the Big Ten tournament and plays Friday, March 14 in Indianapolis, Ind.
Andrew Hayes is the host of Impact Izzone for Impact Sports.
Photo: David Defever/Impact Sports