Jan. 27, 2001

Recap| Box Score| Notes

Brent Darby
“We have to keep this going. It felt great to get the win in front of the home crowd and knock off the No. 3 team in the nation. We needed this win to get us to .500 in the conference.

“We pressured the ball. We felt we could check their sets. We had to stop their transition game and keep them off the glass.

“We played with poise. We played a half with them in East Lansing, but we stayed with it today. We were up by a few at the half and then got up by double digits in the second half. Poise was what did it for us today.”

Zach Williams
“It was a better effort today. We executed as a group and cut down on our turnovers. We kept them off the glass. They bully people up on the glass, but we kept them off it today.

“That was a big game. The last two games we turned them into 15 and 17-point losses. We were embarrassed on TV at Michigan State. Today it was all about pride. We weren’t going to let them beat us on our home court.”

Brian Brown
“It feels great to get a win against a top five team in the nation. We played tough, I’m so glad for our team. We limited the transition baskets, that’s half their weapon. We limited the fast break and we won the game.

“This is not the same team as we were last year. A lot of people did not expect us to win this game, but we did.”

Coach Tom Izzo
(Thoughts on game)”No secret we got dealt a lesson today. We did not play hard. We did not play typical Michigan State basketball. It started the first minute of the game. We did not get up and down the court.

Defensively that started things, even though we rebounded and ran pretty well. If you’re looking at effort, you’ve got to give the “X” to Ohio State”

{On Ohio State’s defense} “In all reality, our freshman did not play very well. We had open shots. We made bad shots because of bad passes. Passes down around the ankles and passes up around the shoulders. I think it was all just pressure. They played better defense than us and got a big win.”

{On OSU fans} “I thought the Ohio State fans did a great job. This place was rocking from the get-go. It was great to see. Usually I salivate over something like that. Today I didn’t. Usually our team is tough enough to overcome things like that. We’ve got to realize that playing at home and playing on the road are two different things. There’s a reason people are winning at home, including us.”

Coach Jim O’Brien
(thoughts on game) “I’m proud of the team and how our kids fought back, especially in view of what we went through in the last week. People don’t understand how hard it is within a six-day period to play at Michigan State, play at Wisconsin and then come back and play these guys (MSU) again. This has been a very difficult week in preparation, fatigue and travel in playing three games against high quality teams. Our guys stepped it up, they deserve a lot of credit.”

(On Kenny Johnson) “We had to change the way we get the ball to Kenny. It’s not as easy as people think to get him the ball. What he has learned to do is to throw the ball out of traps and find guys out on the perimeter.”