A huge game was played today in the Value City Arena. Michigan State was at Ohio State in a Big Ten showdown between two of the better teams in the conference. Ohio State needed a win badly today in order to keep their NCAA tournament hopes alive. Ohio State was just coming off a huge win in overtime against Purdue on Tuesday night giving them hope that they could beat the Spartans today and give them a legitimate shot of being in the tournament. Michigan State was coming off a win over Illinois and wanted to end the Buckeyes hopes of getting into the tournament.
Michigan State began the game on a hot streak with two three pointers by Drew Neitzel. Michigan State also showed why they lead the Big Ten conference in rebounds. Ohio State struggled early with their rebounding which led to Michigan State getting many second chance points. Michigan State led the entire first half of the game even though they had more turnovers than they had averaged in their last several games. Ohio State cut the lead to six points with the half nearing but Michigan State called a time out and scored just before the half ended increasing their lead by two points. The score at the half favored Michigan State 31 to 23 over the Buckeyes.
The Spartans extended the lead to as many as twelve points over Ohio State in the second half. Ohio State soon realized that they needed to start making shots because they could not afford to lose this game. Ohio State soon cut the lead to one point with just six minutes to play. Jamar Butler was fouled with just under five minutes left in the game and hit both of his free throws to give the Buckeyes their first lead of the game. The score was then 53 to 52 in favor of Ohio State. Michigan State tried to come back but could not score on Ohio State's defense. Michigan State committed four shot clock violations that hurt them dearly in the end. Big shots were made from Kosta Koufos and Othello Hunter at the end of the game leading to an Ohio State victory. The final score was Ohio State 63, Michigan State 54. The Buckeyes outscored the Spartans 28 to 9 in the remaining eleven minutes of the game. Jamar Butler led the Buckeyes with twenty points in the game while Raymar Morgan led the Spartans with nineteen points. Hunter had thirteen points with David Lighty and Koufos both having eleven points. Drew Nietzel for Michigan State only had six points which he scored early on in the game. Ohio State is now 19 and 12 overall and 10 an 8 in the Big Ten conference. Michigan State is now 24 and 7 overall and 12 an 6 in the Big Ten. With this win over Michigan State, Ohio State has solidified its spot in the NCAA tournament in my book.