The second half was indicative of both teams’ seasons. For Michigan State, they played hard but made too many mistakes. Meanwhile, the Buckeyes stepped up their game, played with intensity and were able to beat a hungry Spartans squad 71-61.
Michigan State did not make it easy. They played hard and executed well on offense. While there’s no such thing as a moral victory, at least they didn’t give up. They looked good and with the exception of some mental mistakes late, they were in the game with one of the best teams in the nation. They need to build on this as they have a huge showdown with Illinois on Saturday.
For the Buckeyes, this was a great rebound following their loss to Wisconsin on Saturday. While they didn’t have a great start, they fought through it and played well in the second half. They played more like a unit on defense late in the game as they forced steals and went after loose balls. It was an encouraging sign to see this team fight through a slow start and prevail over a good Michigan State team.
There are areas of concern. Overall, Ohio State’s defense didn’t play well. They made too many mental mistakes that lead to easy baskets for Michigan State. On offense, it seems some players are too hesitant to take shots when there’s a window. Players like Jon Diebler need to look at William Buford and watch how he attacks the game. He isn’t afraid to take shots and as a result, he had a huge game.
The Buckeyes don’t have much time to enjoy their win. On Sunday, they’ll travel to Purdue for a huge showdown. The Boilermakers will be looking for revenge as the Buckeyes put a whopping on them in their last match up. It should be a good challenge for Ohio State as they move closer to another Big Ten title.