Ohio State Snaps 17-Game Road Losing Streak, Defeats Michigan State 60-57 Behind Game-Winning Three From Dale Bonner

By February 25, 2024 (6:29 pm)Basketball

Ohio State snapped its 17-game road losing streak in dramatic fashion Sunday night at Michigan State’s Breslin Center, with the Buckeyes coming back from 12 points down and getting a game-winning three-pointer from Dale Bonner to pull out the 60-57 victory. The win was Ohio State’s first on the road since Jan. 1, 2023, as well as the first at the Breslin Center since March 4, 2012.

Ohio State shot just 24.1 percent from field (7 of 29) and made just one of its 10 attempts from three in the first half but bounced back after the break, making 15 of its 29 attempts (15-of-29) from the field, including the final three from Bonner as time expired.

The Buckeyes, who were shorthanded with Jamison Battle being out with an ankle injury, struggled early, missing three of their first 14 shots and committing two turnovers to fall in an early 13-8 hole with 14:01 left. 

The score stayed that way for the next 2:56 until Royal hit two free throws with 11:05 left to trail 13-10. Roddy Gayle Jr. then intercepted a Tre Holloman pass and sprinted the other way for a dunk to cut the deficit to just one point, but it was the closest Ohio State got all half. 

Sandwiched between a Bruce Thornton three with 7:46 left that put the score at 17-15 in favor of the Spartans, Michigan State scored eight of the game’s next 11 points to take a 21-15 lead with 5:59 remaining. 

Thanks to a Devin Royal basket and Zed Key free throw, the Buckeyes managed to keep the score within two possessions in the ensuing minutes, trailing 23-18 heading into the final media timeout. But the Spartans closed the half strong with a 9-4 run — capped by a Tyson Walker second-chance layup at the buzzer, and aided by another four Buckeye misses in five attempts — to take a 32-22 lead into half. 

Ohio State failed to make consecutive field goals in the first half, a period where it shot just 24.1 percent from the field (7-of-29) and made just one of its 10 three-point tries. They also scored just three fast-break points to Michigan State’s 11. 

The Buckeyes missed their first four shots out of the break, helping the Spartans to go up 36-24. But the road team managed to cut it to eight twice in the ensuing minutes, the second on a Gayle layup to make it 38-30 with 15:37 left. 

After the Spartans increased its lead back up to 11, Ohio State took off on a 5-0 run to trail 42-36 with 13:50 left, only to be answered by a 6-0 run by the Spartans, with each of those points coming in transition. 

The Buckeyes responded again, this time going on an 8-2 run — four of those points coming from Royal — to trail 52-46 with 8:49 left. That score remained the same for the next 2:07 until an old-fashioned three from Key and Okpara basket put Ohio State within one, 52-51, with 6:02 left.

Despite Michigan State making just one basket in the next 3:31, Ohio State went 3:54 without a basket, allowing the Spartans to hold a 54-51 lead. The Buckeyes cut it again to one with two Gayle free throws with 2:08 left, and, after a Michigan State basket, the Buckeyes trailed by one again after a Royal layup.  

After a Bonner steal, Ohio State took the lead — its first of the game — on two Gayle free throws with 11 seconds left. Michigan State guard Tyson Walker was fouled on the other end but hit one of two free throws to tie the game with six seconds remaining.  Facing a full-court press, Thornton raced down the sidelines and found Bonner near the Ohio State bench, who dribbled, gathered himself and hit a contested fadeaway three as time expired. 

Ohio State will return to Columbus for its next game on Feb. 29, hosting Nebraska at 6:30 p.m. 

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