Feb. 24, 2013

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No. 18 Ohio State 68 (20-7, 10-5 Big Ten) , No. 4 Michigan State 60 (22-6, 11-4 Big Ten)
Feb. 24, 2013
Value City Arena – Columbus, Ohio
Attendance – 18,809

Thad Matta, Ohio State head coach
On gaining momentum in the second half
“We made some shots. I told my players at halftime we had some great looks, but we have to put the ball in the basket. Defensively, we challenged Michigan State to defend us.”

On Aaron Craft’s offensive growth
“Aaron had some great reads. His teammates helped him to get much better spacing than we normally have. He attacked the rim well and had a lot of shots going in.”

On Craft’s concentration in classroom and on the court
“The best teams I’ve ever had have had the highest team GPA. The correlation there is amazing. He wants to know everything and processes it well.”

On Evan Ravenel’s block at end of the game
“He was as effective as he can be today. His foul nine feet from the basket was not smart, but his rebounding and great screens were impressive.”

Aaron Craft, junior guard
On his career-high scoring performance
“We saw some things during the first game this season that we thought we could take advantage of tonight. We didn’t do a great job of challenging their bigs and doing pick-and-rolls down the floor. When guys make shots from outside, that opens up the lane and we were able to capitalize on that tonight and make layups.”

On the guard play coming off ball screens
“After watching the first game [Michigan State] did a great job of playing downhill and backing off. I don’t think Shannon [Scott] or myself did a very good job coming off ball screens or challenging their bigs. We threw a couple pocket passes to our bigs and were able to get them to the foul line.”

On how this win motivates the Buckeyes
“This time of the year, we need to find something rolling. We found ourselves in a similar situation last year. The biggest thing is that we got a win against a great opponent. It doesn’t matter who scores, all that matter is that our team has more points at the end of the game. Hopefully, we can continue this going forward.”

Deshaun Thomas, junior forward
On the momentum shift after the timeout in the second half
“Coach wanted us to be aggressive on defense and draw some turnovers. Momentum was on our side after I hit that three in the corner. Our turnovers in the second half were big. Our defense led to our offense.”

On the Buckeyes’ defensive focus
“We came off our loss against Wisconsin and knew we had to win. When we become a defensive team, we put ourselves in the best position to win. It takes energy and effort, and we need to focus on our defensive principle to win games.”

On having more balanced offensive scoring
“I’m excited for Aaron [Craft]. I have faith in his offense and I believe in him. It’s good for him to score and attack their guards. It will help our team. In my eyes, everyone can score on this team. It was big for Aaron to come in and help us to win the game.”

Evan Ravenel, senior forward
On his defensive presence during today’s game
“I just wanted to win. I know [Adreian] Payne and [Derrick] Nix were the focus of the Michigan State offense today. They were killing us on the boards. My drive to win the game and be physical was what drove me today to do what I needed to do for my team.”

Tom Izzo, Michigan State head coach
On guarding Aaron Craft
“He beat us every way you could beat us. It was a joint effort. It wasn’t one guy who did not cover those ball screens very well.”

On Michigan State’s performance
“I am disappointed that we haven’t show the grit we showed in the last two games, which normally happens when you get fat and sassy, and I think we’ve gotten a little bit of that. I take no credit away from Ohio State – they played an okay first half and a very good second half – and they deserved two win the game.”

On the importance of a second scorer
“I give [Craft] a lot of credit, but he scored a lot of layups. He didn’t score shots. He scored layups. I think they need to get [Lenzelle] Smith going. We’re not going to win many games with our best players going 4-for-16, and neither are they.”