Ohio State squared off against Michigan State in Columbus this afternoon; OSU going after its 2nd consecutive win, MSU trying to stop a 4-game slide. However, the Buckeye’s came up short as the Spartans rolled by the score of 82-68. If you enjoyed fouls and turnovers, I don’t understand why you would, this game was for you. The teams combined for 39 fouls and 37 turnovers. Although the Buckeyes did manage to score 68 points (36 in 2nd half), they had no answer to MSU’s offense, as the Spartans scored 45 points in the 2nd half. The Spartans placed 4 players in double figures; Tori Jankoska 25 points, Aerial Powers 20 points, Klarissa Bell 11 points and Annalise Pickrel 10 points. Defensively they blocked 11 Buckeye shots, 7 by 6’7″ center Madison Williams.
The Buckeyes were led off the bench by Raven Ferguson 20 points, Ameryst Alston 16 points, and Cait Craft with 12 points.
It was a wild 1st half marked by runs and swings. At the 12:26 mark, Ohio State held a 18-13 lead, shooting 64% (7-11) from the field. The hot start wasn’t to last, as the Buckeyes went on a scoreless 4:45 stretch, broken by an Ameryst Alston FG with 5:10 left in the half. This score pulled OSU within 4, 22-26. Baskets were traded for the balance of the half, with MSU having the lead 37-32 at intermission.
Despite the hot start, the Buckeyes couldn’t maintain the offensive momentum, finishing 13-36 (36%) from the field. The Spartan defense had a significant impact as 6’7″ center Madison Williams had 6 of MSU’s 8 blocked shots. Ohio State also committed 9 turnovers, so between the T/O’s and shots coming back at them, the Buckeyes dealt with a lot of non-productive possessions. Meanwhile MSU shot 55% (16-29) from the field, but also committed 10 turnovers. OSU did outrebound MSU 20-17, with 11 of OSU’s rebounds being at the offensive end.
In 2nd half play, Ohio State their offensive challenges continued, while MSU was not, as at the 14:25 mark, MSU had outscored OSU 13-4. At 12:11 mark, MSU had outscored OSU 14-6 and led 51-38. Quite a contrast from the 1st half.
At the midpoint of the half, MSU led 57-46. Fortunately, the Spartans had hit the 10 foul mark and the Buckeyes were in the double bonus situation. OSU was only 3-14 from the field at this point from the half. However, by the 6:21 mark, 5 consecutive points within 40 seconds by the Buckeyes move them within 9 points, 55-64.
Coming down the home stretch, the Spartans kept the Buckeyes at arm’s length with a low-double digit lead, but it came down to too many points and too little time.
The Buckeyes next game is Thursday, January 30th as they host Illinois. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 PM EST, and television coverage provided by BTDN.