The Spartans were fueled by the energy of power forward Matt Trannon who recorded a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Senior center Paul Davis had a double-double of his own with 18 points and 12 rebounds.
With the last 7:20 seconds remaining in regulation the Spartans failed to score a field goal. Ohio State wasn't exactly lighting it up on the offensive end, however the Spartans couldn't seem to put the Buckeyes away.
Michigan State's leading scorer Maurice Ager was just 1-of-11 from the field and scored just two points. It was the play of Shannon Brown, Davis and Trannon that earned the victory in a tough ugly defensive battle. Brown led the Spartans with 20 points and was 9-16 from the field.
Ohio State's leading scorer Je'Kel Foster was held in check but he fouled out early in the second overtime which became a big difference in the game. Matt Sylvester led the way for the Buckeyes with 17 points and 4-6 shooting from behind the arc.
The Spartans followed up a strong performance against #9 Indiana on Wednesday by beating a tough Buckeye team at Columbus. Michigan State had the difficult challenge of defending against Terrence Dials (14 points, 10 rebounds) who is among the top centers in the Big Ten.
It was an early second half run that put Michigan State in the driver's seat to win the game. Unfortunately Michigan State couldn't put the game away until a second overtime period.
Sophomore point guard Drew Neitzel and senior center Paul Davis iced the game from the free-throw line in the closing minutes of the game to seal the victory for the Spartans. Neitzel had his only 4 points of the game when it mattered most. With 44 seconds remaining he hit a runner and then it was two clutch free-throws that sealed the deal for the Spartans.
Michigan State now gets back to .500 in the Big Ten with a record of 2-2 and wins their first away game in the conference. Head coach Tom Izzo was pleased with the gritty defensive effort the Spartans gave in an ugly offensive game. It seems like it's getting to be that time of the year when Izzo and The Spartans step up in big games and win when it matters most.
Michigan State now moves on to an easier Big Ten schedule after a tough start playing against 4 opponents that were ranked in the Top 25.