EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) -Alyssa DeHaan scored 16 points and Lykendra Johnson had 14 points and 11 rebounds to help Michigan State beat No. 14 Ohio State 52-46 Sunday, moving with a half-game of the Big Ten lead.
The 6-foot-9 DeHaan was 6-for-8 from the field and had the only two 3-point baskets for the Spartans (17-7, 10-3 Big Ten). Johnson was 6-for-9 from the floor.
Jantel Lavender had 19 points and eight rebounds for the Buckeyes (19-4, 10-2), who shot just 31 percent from the field in the second half and never led in the game. The Buckeyes tied the game three times in the second half, but did not capitalize off 20 Michigan State turnovers. They were 1-of-14 from three.
It was a totally different game from the teams’ first matchup on Jan. 4, when the Buckeyes grabbed a 35-10 lead and won 67-49 in Columbus.
Michigan State took a 32-27 lead when DeHaan hit her team’s first 3-point basket with 17:25 left. But Ohio State began to turn up the defensive pressure on a team that had 12 turnovers in the first half.
After going more than 4 minutes without a point, Michigan State built a 49-44 lead with 3:20 left. Despite giving the Buckeyes plenty of chances with their turnovers, the Spartans played just enough defense to pull off the upset.
The Spartans were without starting point guard Brittney Thomas, who was sidelined for the season with a torn ACL suffered Friday while shooting on her own.
Backed by a crowd of more than 10,400, Michigan State came out strong and led 29-25 in the first half. The Spartans pounded the ball inside to DeHaan and Johnson, who combined for 18 points against shorter defenders.
Johnson had 10 points on 5-for-6 shooting and grabbed seven rebounds before the break. DeHaan had eight points in the first 20 minutes and didn’t miss a shot.
Ashlee Trebilcock had eight points while Brittany Johnson chipped in with six off the bench.
Ohio State head coach Jim Foster:
On changing their game plan due to Brittney Thomas’ injury…
“We did not do a good job of reversing the ball, and started the game taking our shots too quickly. Based on what they were going through, we knew they were going to struggle getting the ball up the floor letting us get some opportunities early but as the game progressed they got a little more confident in that area. We had three or four people doing their job when it came to defending, but then the fifth person would let the ball come up without the right kind of pressure we needed to put on them. That hurt us along with us being in a quick shot mood, and not taking advantage of the things that make us a good basketball team. They did a great job and I don’t think we did a very good job.”
On Michigan State’s turnovers…
“They had 20 turnovers, so I don’t think they handled the ball very well. It was more our fault defensively. Once they got the ball in their set they had a bunch of big bodies on the floor and a couple of mismatches that they took advantage of. We did not take advantage of our mismatches and our opportunities that include moving the ball and getting our players to spread the floor and attack of the dribble. In the second half I think Ashlee attacked off the dribble and had four baskets and we had opportunities to do that in the first half and didn’t because we were quick shooting.”
On Dehaan making two three-pointers…
“She made the first and you have to give her that, and then you can’t let the second one happen. When you look back on a game that close those kind of decisions hurt us. That goes all across the board thought. Mentally we were not to the level to beat this team today. They played with a lot of emotion and played a lot harder than we did, and they took advantage of what they could do and we did not take advantage of what we could do.”
On the difference between the first game against MSU and the second…
“You really can’t evaluate them right now. You have to wait and see how they are without Thomas. We did not prepare to play that team and they did a great job. Now people are going to see they don’t have a point guard and how they are going to play them. Today they did a terrific job and did what they had to do on both ends of the floor. They got the ball into the offensive end and once they did that they executed well and took advantages of the mismatches. But we kind of helped them along by the way they played offensively in the first half.”
Ohio State guard Ashlee Trebilcock
On the missed opportunities down the stretch …
“I think I got great shots off them, but they were just not going in. I mean zero for seven speaks for itself from the three-point line. I had wide open looks, but they were not falling.”
Ohio State forward Jantel Lavender
Thoughts on the game…
“I think we basically just got out-played. Michigan State came out and played extremely hard and we did not match their intensity out there and we ended up on the short end.”