Box Score | Photo Gallery | Season Stats | Schedule | Roster |
EAST LANSING, Mich. – After a slow start, Ohio State showed a lot of heart and was within one possession late in the second half but couldn’t quite get all the way back, as the Buckeyes fell 84-78 at Michigan State on Saturday afternoon.
Freshman Brice Sensabaugh led four Buckeyes (3-18, 5-15) in double figures with 21 points. Fellow freshmen Bruce Thornton also reached 20 points as he was 4-of-8 from long range and finished with 20 points.
Senior Justice Sueing had another solid performance as he scored 10 points, grabbed nine rebounds and dished-out a career-high seven assists. Sean McNeil was the fourth Buckeye in double-figures with 11 points on 3-of-6 from distance.
The Buckeyes made 11 three-pointers, marking just the third time this season, and the first in Big Ten play, in which they made 10 or more threes in a game. They also were 11-of-12 from the foul line and have made 40 of their last 42 free throws over the last three games.
Just like in the first meeting this season, Michigan State used a 15-0 run at the start of the game to build a 17-4 lead. The Buckeyes trailed by as much as 13 but climbed back to within four after a Felix Okpara dunk and a McNeil three-pointer. Michigan State then hit three more three-pointers the rest of the half and would lead 43-34 at the break.
The Spartans led by 10 with seven and a half to play when a pair of Sensabaugh free throws sparked a 7-0 run to cut the lead to 67-64 with 5:40 to go. Thornton’s three-pointer capped the run and forced a Michigan State timeout. Out of the timeout, MSU scored four-consecutive points and the Spartans were able to keep Ohio State at arms-length the rest of the way.
The are the No. 13 seed in next week’s Big Ten Tournament in Chicago and will play in the first game of the tournament on Wednesday night at 6:30 p.m. ET. The opponent will be determined on Sunday based on the outcome of the remaining six games.