EAST LANSING, Mich. – The No. 19 Ohio State men’s basketball team fell to No. 16 Michigan State, 80-69, Sunday afternoon at Breslin Center. With the loss, the Buckeyes drop to 21-10 on the year, 11-9 in the Big Ten, while the Spartans improve to 22-9, 14-6 in conference play.
The Buckeyes will earn the No. 6 or No. 7 seed in the Big Ten Tournament, opening play Thursday night in Indianapolis.
Duane Washington Jr. led four Buckeyes in double figures with 16 points while CJ Walker scored 14, E.J. Liddell poured in 12 off the bench and Luther Muhammad scored 10. Cassius Winston paced the Spartans with 27 points while Rocket Watts scored 19.
After Ohio State held an early 7-4 lead after a Washington Jr. layup, Michigan State used a 12-0 run, including eight-consecutive points from Watts, over the next 2:40 to open up a 16-7 advantage at the 14:34 mark of the opening half. The Spartan lead swelled to 12 at 31-19 on a jumper by Xavier Tillman with 6:21 left to play but Ohio State went on a 9-1 spurt over the next 2:54 to make it a 32-28 contest after a pair of Kaleb Wesson free throws with 3:27 remaining before Michigan State took a 38-32 lead into the break.
Walker led the Buckeyes with 10 points at the half while Winston went for 12 points and five assists and Watts added 11 for the Spartans.
Ohio State opened the second half on a 10-4 run, using six points from Andre Wesson to knot the score at 42-all with 16:15 left in the contest. However, after the teams exchanged baskets, the Spartans used an 18-8 run in which they connected on six of seven shots from the field to open up a 62-51 lead with 9:15 remaining. Washington Jr. cut the deficit to 62-54 on a 3-pointer the next trip down the court but Ohio State would be unable to get any closer the rest of the way.
For the game, the Spartans held a 36-30 advantage on the boards and a 15-4 lead in fast-break points.