Valentine's 3 lifts MSU over OSU

Michigan State junior hits a 3 with 3.2 seconds left to give the Spartans a big home win

After not calling a timeout on the final possession against Michigan two weeks earlier, Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said he would not do that again.

But he did it again on Saturday against Ohio State – and this time, it paid off as Denzel Valentine hit a 3-pointer with 3.2 seconds left to give MSU the 59-56 win.

A steal by Valentine on Ohio State’s final attempt sealed the win.

It was another close game at home for Michigan State, which seems to always have it come down to the wire at Breslin Center.

The Spartans led by as many as nine in the second half, but Ohio State came back to hold a two-point lead twice down the stretch. But when OSU’s Shannon Scott hit a jumper to put OSU ahead 49-47, MSU came right back as Tum Tum Nairn hit a floater 49-49.

OSU standout freshman D’Angelo Russell then crossed over Valentine at the top of the key and buried the jumper. Valentine knocked down a 3 right after to give MSU the lead back 52-51.

Branden Dawson knocked down a pair of free throws with 3:18 to go to give MSU the 54-51 lead – a huge push given MSU’s free-throw struggles this year.

OSU’s Amir Williams and MSU’s Travis Trice traded buckets and MSU still led 56-53, but Sam Thompson tied it 56-56 with a 3-pointer from the wing with 36 seconds left.

As MSU brought the ball up the court, Izzo opted not to call a time out. Nairn dropped the ball to Valentine coming across and he hit the 3 from the wing to give the Spartans the win.

Dawson finished with his seventh double-double in 12 Big Ten games with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Valentine had a game-high 17 points with five 3-pointers.

Nairn, in the starting lineup again, was a perfect 3 for 3 from the field -- including his first-career 3-pointer -- and finished with seven points.

It was the 15th of the past 17 games between MSU and OSU that was decided by less than 10 points.


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