No. 8 Michigan State Holds Off No. 14 Ohio State, 86-77

By January 5, 2019 (2:18 pm)Basketball, James Grega
image_pdfClick for PDFimage_printClick to Print

Lighting didn’t strike twice for Ohio State.

Nearly a year to the day that the Buckeyes upset No. 1 Michigan State in Columbus in 2018, Ohio State fell to the now No. 8 Spartans, 86-77, at home in front of a sell out crowd at Value City Arena.

With Urban Meyer, Dwayne Haskins and Justin Fields looking on, the Buckeyes took a seven-point advantage at halftime and got 25 points from Kaleb Wesson, but it wasn’t enough to collect the win.

Thanks to excellent ball movement and 28 combined points from C.J. Jackson and Kaleb Wesson, Ohio State took a 43-36 lead at halftime, however with both on the bench early in the second, Michigan State its run.

With Jackson dealing with cramping issues and Wesson saddled with three fouls, the Spartans rattled off a 9-0 run early in the second to take a brief 51-50 lead. Wesson returned and Ohio State continuously played through him, as the big man scored seven points in the first 10 minutes of the second half.

Michigan State’s lead extended to five after Wesson picked up his fourth foul with 8:59 to play in the game. With Wesson on the bench, Ohio State managed to knot the game back at 64 apiece with a three-pointer from Duane Washington and a layup from Andre Wesson with 7:56 to play.

Trailing 69-66 with 6:15 to play, Chris Holtmann re-inserted Kaleb Wesson back into the game with four fouls. After the two teams traded one-point leads for nearly three minutes, Michigan State emerged with a 75-72 lead at the final media timeout with 3:17 to play and never trailed again, leading by as many as seven after Kaleb Wesson fouled out.

The first half featured five ties and five lead changes, with the last one proving to be the biggest of the day.

Trailing 31-28, Ohio State rattled off a 10-0 run which featured an old-fashioned three point play by Kaleb Wesson and a corner three-pointer by Duane Washington, which was triggered by a mad scramble. Andre Wesson, Jackson and Kaleb Wesson all spilled out of bounds while trying to save a loose ball before the sequence ended with Washington canning the jumper, leading to a Michigan State timeout with 1:41 to play in the opening frame.

The Buckeyes carried a seven point lead into halftime thanks to a three-point jumper from Kaleb Wesson, who scored 18 of his 25 points in the first half. Kaleb Wesson’s counterpart and Gahanna, Ohio native Nick Ward dropped in 21 against his hometown team for Michigan State.

Ohio State is set to return to action Wednesday on the road against Rutgers with tip set for 7 p.m.